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DIY: Antiseptic Ointment

For treating minor cuts, scrapes, abrasions and whatnot, most people will reach for the Neosporin or some other antiseptic ointments.

These are great items to keep in your first aid kit, but hold on just a second before you rush out the the pharmacy to stock up on these…

Did you know that instead of wasting $5 to $10 on ointment, you can make your own DIY antiseptic from scratch?

This homemade antiseptic ointment is packed with germ-killing properties that will help treat those everyday minor cuts, scrapes, and abrasions you might have, and best of all, it’s really easy to make.

Here’s all you need:

    • 1 1/2 ounces beeswax, grated
    • 1 cup olive, almond, or coconut oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon vitamin E oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil
    • 20 drops lavender essential oil
    • 10 drops lemon essential oil

Ointment Recipe Directions:

1. In a small pot, and melt the oils (except the lavender and lemon essential oils) and beeswax using low heat (very low heat).

2. Remove pot from the heat and add Vitamin E oil, lemon, and lavender essential oil. Stir with a chopstick or a small wooden spoon.

3. Pour the mixture into a small sterilized jar(s) (or a mason jar). Then let stand and cool on the counter.

4. Store it in a dark cool place.

When you get a cut, scrape or abrasion, use this ointment as needed on the wound(s).

It should keep for roughly 5 years.

How does it work?

The antiseptic properties include:

    • Tea Tree Oil: antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial
    • Lavender: analgesic (pain relief), antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial
    • Lemon: antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial

*For those who don’t like the smell of lavender, you can substitute chamomile essential oils for lavender and fir essential oils for lemon.

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Preparing Kids for The Apocalypse

In this article we will discuss one reality almost every man and woman absolutely dread, preparing our kids for the apocalypse, and keeping them alive after the shit hits the fan.  I’ve never sugar coated articles, and this will be no different, so if you’re not ready to read this I’ll completely understand.  I will give you all a hard dose of reality, some preparedness tips, techniques to keep your kids alive after doomsday, and some more brutal honesty.  Now that you’ve all been duly informed, let’s proceed…

It’s almost universally accepted we are hardwired to instinctively protect our children, and others’ children too, but it’s actually more than instinctual, it’s biologically instinctual.  In fact, Oxford University did a study showing the reaction time in the orbitofrontal cortex part of our brains when seeing a child and a human in distress isn’t even comparable, it showed we physically respond to children in distress without even thinking about, or letting instinct kick in, while seeing a human in distress triggered compartmentalized action.  Basically, unless you’re a subhuman degenerate, kids will always come first!

Nothing new, right?  To be honest, I didn’t state the above for us parents, it’s for those of you who haven’t been blessed with the beautiful curse of having children.  Why?  Mutual understanding.  If you’re a part of a group that has kids and you try to go against that grain, you will find yourself alone, without supplies, and if the kids get hurt because of your actions…you’ll end up dead.  If you’re not the type of guy who puts women and kids in the lifeboat first, a group with kids might not be the best for you.

Cautionary Preamble for Prepping Kids

Before you go spray painting your kids face with camo, stuffing MREs down their throats, and throwing them under barbwire, while popping smoke and black cats at their feet, let’s think about this for a second.  We’ve talked a few times about turning your kids into preppers without scaring the living shit out of them, and this is no exception.  Being a parent is tough, being a parent that believes in preparedness, self-sustainability, or The Constitution is damn near impossible in this CPS and guardian ad litem Nazi Era.  Hell, even though our beliefs are logical, responsible, and morally sound, we’re the crazy ones in their eyes.  Moral of the story, we have to prepare our kids for the shit to hit the fan discretely.

Luckily, you have your old buddy Administrator Ryan to guide you through the muddy waters of the state’s watchful eyes.  Just so you know I’m not some childless sycophant lecturing you on youth preparedness, I have two daughters who’ve been being prepared for five years.  Luckily, my X-wife and I have always thought alike about many things including preparedness, so getting her on board wasn’t hard.  For those of you who have to deal with Mr. or Mrs. Vindictive you’ll have to be just as equally discrete with them as you are with the state, unless this is that one thing you agree on.  If you’re divorced being aware of your spouse’s feelings is very important.  You don’t want to end up in court with Little Susie telling the Judge “Daddy said I have to know how to kill a man with my thumb when the world ends.”….

Discrete Kid Prepper Training

The goal here is to prepare your kids for the apocalypse without your kids, or spouse knowing they’re being trained for the end of times. Genius, right?  The trick is to keep your beliefs to yourself for the time being.  As long as you don’t accompany these activities with a prepper narrative, no one can label you a lunatic.  Luckily, there are several activities that can prepare a kid for the apocalypse that almost all parents can agree on while avoiding unwanted attention that include, but are not limited to;

  • judo — in my opinion the best martial artis for kids to learn allowing them to use the attacker(s) bodyweight against them
  • camping —  allows the opportunity to teach bushcrafting, firestarting, shelter building, identifying edible plants, while banning all technology
  • fishing —  taking the kids out teaching them how to catch fish, gut, scale, and cook their food is an requisite skill for everyone to have
  • hunting —  again learning the circle of life is very important, and teaching your kids how to field dress big game could save their life down the road
  • running —  running and exercising with your kids is a great way of keep you and your kids endurance high

While there are activities like the ones listed above that aren’t outside the realm of normal behavior, there are activities that are considered abnormal and should be judged on a case by case basis accounting for factors like; spousal approval, state and county political ideologies, and school involvement.  There are groups, and events that no prepper should be a part of lest ye want the watchful eye upon you that includes;

  • Girl Scouts & Boy Scouts —  not only have these organizations been turned into over politicized profiteering child labor camps, but they are breeding grounds for parental interference putting someone between you and your children
  • militia training camps —  if your kid isn’t at least 16 years old he or she has no business at a militia training camp, which is why every email we receive asking to bring their kids are responded to negatively
  • extreme religious organizations —  having you or your kids a part of a church or religious group that is way too extreme like saying ‘Dancing is a sin’ makes it way too easy to label you
  • public school —  surely I know it’s far too difficult for many of us to home school our children, but if you have the opportunity or financial means to do sothen by all means I surely encourage home schooling or private/charter schools

Kid Preppers

Turning your kid into a prepper is one of the most responsible things you can do as a parent, and in my opinion it is a moral obligation.  Far too many children are being raised to be victims and nothing less, an entire generation of slaves.  Your children are the only thing to carry on your genetic code after you die, and it’s your responsibility to ensure they are fully prepared to not only survive on their own, but to thrive.  The greatest decision I’ve ever made was teaching my two daughters survivalism, preparedness, and firearms.  What I learned is that training your children must be done in steps…

Teaching your kids firearms…

The first thing I did with my kids is I took the mystery out of firearms, by removing the magazine, clearing the chamber, and explaining what guns were, what they do, how they work with some serious cautionary tales.  Most kids are enamored with the idea of guns specifically because they are ‘off limits’, not to mention how cool they look to kids when they watch T.V. shows, and movies.  Then after explaining to them what guns were, I took them out back where we have a makeshift range with a backstop and setup some fruit downrange, and shot each, and as the fruit exploded into a million little pieces I could see my kids faces turn from amazement to understanding.  With their faces turned stern I told them ‘If this was another person, they would be dead, which is why you must learn how to use these before you touch them.’, and they both understood.

Then, I gave each of my girls cute pink Daisy B.B. guns that I etched their names into (they tend to get territorial over stuff).  With these BB guns I taught them standard firearm safety rules, loading, sighting, and etc.  Each took a turn and shot at their targets with groupings you’d expect from a couple of kids.  Every weekend we’d all train, focusing on getting better, and when my oldest daughter turned 8, she was the first to try our little Ruger 10/22, and I was exceptionally happy with the utter amount of respect she showed the rifle.  Her little sister was only slightly upset that she couldn’t use it yet, but she knew it was because of her age and size.  It was that year of training leading up to my oldest turning 8 that trained her to have that profound respect for the rifle, and I’ll tell you what, she had some pretty good groupings for her first time with a real rifle.  Moral of the story, teach them young, or pay the price later.

Teaching kids survivalism…

In today’s PopTart culture, it’s hard to get your kids to understand anything outside the realm of a thirty second spasmodic cartoon commercial of a dinosaur skating on a unicorn’s head shooting glitter everywhere, so your task is not an easy one.  That’s why I can’t truly emphasize the need for you the parent not to make survivalism a chore, but a fun activity your children will learn from.  This means don’t be a psychopath telling your kids ‘You better learn this or you’ll end up with a pike through your tiny skull in front of a wasteland raider’s shack town!’, seriously, chill out.  I’ve probably already said this to you guys more than once, but do not rob your children of their childhood!  That being said, teaching survivalism to your kids should be done based on priority; water, fire. shelter, and food.

We all know the rule of three, 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in harsh environments, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food, and this is where you should start with teaching your kids survivalism.  The trick with my daughters is bribery.  One day I sat them down eat dinner, which is when we talk about a million things and I said..

‘Girls, do you know the rule of three?’   They both shook their heads and I explained..
‘Did you know you can only survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in harsh environments, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food?’   They both shook their heads again as they said ‘No’ in their patented brat tones, to which I replied…
‘When people don’t remember that they die.’ I made sure not to personalize it because I had no intentions of scaring them.
‘So here’s the deal’ I said leering at both of them ‘the next time I ask what the rule of 3 is and you can remember it, I will let whoever gets it right the first time pick where we eat’ an idea both of them would love since Sonic is their crack and either way I win.. to which I followed up with..
‘So what’s the rule of 3?’ to which my oldest (who is somewhat of a prodigy)sprang out of her seat and recited every single rule to finish off by saying ‘and 3 seconds if we don’t get to go to Sonic tonight, Daddy!’

As simple as that I created an engine to get them to remember something incredibly important, and created competition to see who’d answer it right the fastest.  Since then, I’ve done this to them with several different survival factoids, and even got them to remember the Mozambique drill.  As a parent you need incentive, competition, and value to teach your children important things, while masking the seriousness of the knowledge.

Teaching Survival While Camping

If the shit were to hit the fan today, do you feel comfortable that your kid(s) would be able to locate potable water that wouldn’t kill them within 3 days?  Hell, I know it’s a very cryptic thing to say but about 99.9% of the children I’ve been in contact with through social and work acquaintances will not survive outside 24 hours.  Kids these days simply aren’t taught how to be self sufficient, with their mothers pandering to their every need, and their fathers either completely checked out or too scared (and prideful) to discipline their children in fear of turning out like their old man.  Tough cookies, the kids aren’t going to be alright and they need to be taught to survive!

Luckily, water is one of the easier things to teach a kid about.  If you’re not camping with your kids at least once a month you’re already failing them, because camping is where you can teach the basics of survival like finding potable water, filtering water, and etc.  Get out of the house and go camping!  And yes, I do know for some people it’s pretty hard to do, especially in mid-western desert areas like Southern Nevada, but you must find time.

The first two or three times I took my girls camping I made sure to show them how to do everything I was doing.  While I taught them I made sure to say ‘One time when we go camping I’m going to let you two do it, and if you can do it without my help we’ll go to Target and get you a new Barbie’ (yes I bribe my children all the time). The very simple things I taught them included;

  • finding a suitable campsite
  • finding potable water
  • setting up the tent
  • digging latrines
  • making a water filter
  • fire starting methods

Like all things with children you have to be patient and understanding.  Be meticulous in your explanation, while not being so insufferably boring you lose their attention.  Kids dig positive enforcement and momentum, so when you explain things you have to sound motivated and excited.  And for the love of god don’t scorn them for not getting it right the first time, they’re kids!

Teaching your Kids Shelter Building

The coolest thing about teaching your kids about building shelter is it’s not too far outside the realm of normal behavior for kids.  When I was a kid we’d go into the Kentucky backwoods (i.e. the backyard) and build forts every weekend.  You don’t have to go camping to teach your kids shelter building if you live in a wooded rural area.  Take your kids out back every weekend and teach them the basics of a good shelter; compact, off the ground, well insulated, waterproof thatching, and how to use local foliage.

Just like everything else, you can make shelter building into a competition with rewards and incentive, whoever gets theirs built first or is the most sturdy wins ‘fill in the blank’.  As long as your kids think it’s a game and not a chore they’ll always want to build a shelter faster and more sturdy then before.  Does this mean you can point at the woods and say ‘Go build’, grunt, and walk away?  Absolutely not!  This activity, like all others in this guide should be done as a family, and not an excuse for you to go drink a six-pack and watch the game by yourself.  Come on guys..

Hunting and Fishing

Fishing has been around since man’s been on two feet.  Try to make camping a regular activity for your family, teaching your kids the many techniques of fishing; netting, lures and bobbers, spearfishing, angling, and etc.  Keep in mind, death is a touchy subject to kids and should be explained in a very black and white way.  Don’t beat around the bush.  Explain to your kids that for us to live we have to eat animals, bla, bla, bla.  They always understand, and when they catch their first fish they’ll understand the great cycle even more when you have them gut it.  No matter how touchy the subject, they have to learn how life works.

By now your kids should know the basic firearm safety, and should be able to get some decent groupings with a little 22 rifle.  If you feel your kid(s) are responsible enough to go hunting then by all means you should start taking them with you to hunt; deer, turkey, small game, and etc.  Teaching your kids how to track game, hunt, field dress, and cook their kill is probably one of the most useful skills you are going to teach them out of everything else.

Kids and Preparedness

Preparedness is often over-complicated by people like us, because we want to be perfect preppers, developing strategies and preparing for any possibility.  We want to have a plan for everything! Hell, I’m sure some of you even have a contingency plan for when Earth is invaded by cannibal aliens from outer space.  Right?  Kids don’t need to know all that shit.  A simple ‘we are preparing for an emergency’ explanation will suffice.  Teaching your kids preparedness will instill values that will help throughout their adult life.

  • Tell your kids about the four pillars of preparedness; water, food, energy, and finances.  Have your kids pick the items they want in their bug out bag, and why those items are good to have and not good to have
  • Teach your kids about money, precious metals, the importance of wealth, and for God’s sake, please teach your kids how to balance a damn checkbook
  • Have your kids store water in food in their closets letting them pick the food they want so they don’t end up with a closet full of Cheerios when they’d prefer Frosted Flakes

In closing…

As parents we have a lot of responsibilities.  We have to wake our offspring up at the crack of dawn, feed them something nutritious, slap pseudo-matching clothes on them, while making sure they are at somewhat presentable to the world, and that’s just the beginning.  We have to make sure they come out decent human beings, lest the world think what savages we must have created.  But out of all the things the world thinks we should teach them, teaching them to be able to survive anything is the greatest gift we can give our children, so when the world goes to shit it is they who will inherit the world, and hopefully make it a better place, getting right what we got wrong…

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Survival Bunkers

Recently I saw a show called Extreme Survival Bunkers on TV that got me tothinking. The show detailed several different people and their plans for building bunkers to ride out any mass casualty or TEOTWAWKI events.  If you’re looking for an hour of fairly entertaining television then I would highly recommend it.  If you’re looking for advice on how to Prudently and Reasonable Prepare then I would probably not recommend bothering to take notes…

The concept behind large underground bunkers like the ones detailed in the show is to securely house and provide for multiple people or even multiple families for a period of months or years.  The bunkers highlighted cost between a couple hundred thousand dollars up into the millions.  Two of the manufacturers are Vivos and Rising S Company.  Check out their websites, the bunkers they build are definitely cool.

But what exactly are you preparing for with this type of shelter?  I’m perfectly fine with building a storm shelter if you live in an area of the country that is prone to hurricanes or tornadoes.  I believe that to be a Prudent and Reasonable way to Prepare for a likely event.  But a long term survival bunker is something you would build if you were preparing for mass extinction events like nuclear war, EMP, global pandemic, catastrophic meteor strikes, or super-volcanic eruption.  And, while I did just list five events right off the top of my head that would leave anyone wishing for access to a bunker, they are still five very very unlikely events.

I prefer to prepare for more likely events that may affect a region of the country and could require a person to be self sufficient for a period of time, but which will pass.  Disasters like this happen every year multiple times in this country alone.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, power outages, tornadoes, etc…  We see these disasters strike every year and they are what I choose to spend my money and time preparing for and defending against.  Not an end of the world scenario that is a) extremely unlikely and b) even if it were to happen unlikely to leave me able to reach my bunker anyhow.

Some of the bunkers featured looked to be on their owners immediate property.  A small underground shelter like this that could be accessed quickly in the event of emergency would actually be pretty cool.  Especially if you live in an area often hit with tornadoes or hurricanes.

Some of the other bunkers appeared to be in remote locations (one of them in an old missile silo) and was set up more like a giant apartment complex.  How would one even expect to get to this bunker in an emergency?  And who are your new neighbors if you do all make it?  I don’t even like sharing a table at Beni Hana’s, I can’t imagine living underground with a few hundred strangers for a year or two.

I guess you could build your own large underground bunker and live there full-time, they certainly make them big enough.  But seriously, that’s the life you want?  I’m not too interested in living underground when I could be up enjoying the sunshine.  I’m even less interested in finding out what life looks like a year or two after a mass extinction event.  Every scenario I can think of looks pretty grim.

So, while I would probably have a small shelter set up if I had unlimited cash I doubt I would go for the bigtime “stay underground for years” type bunker.  I’m just too claustrophobic.  I’ll take my chances with the zombies, thank you very much…

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Antibiotics for Survival

antibotics-for-survival

Expanded list of natural antibiotics for survival times

Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ” — Hippocrates.

An antibiotic is a medicine that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms. It
can be topical or taken internally. Stop poisoning your body with man made chemical
antibiotics. Instead trust nature, and let food by thy antibiotic!

The survival antibiotics most overlooked by preppers? The ones from nature!
Hippocrates was correct that food has healing powers and stimulate the body’s
immune function. Fruits rich in Vitamin C, such as strawberries, pineapples,
cantaloupes, watermelon, oranges, lemons and limes, for example, can help reduce
incident of infection by stimulating your own body’s immune function. Vegetables rich
in Vitamin C include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. They are equally
powerful foods to heal the body naturally.

The Hippocratic oath includes this important sentence: “With regard to healing the
sick, I will devise and order for them the best diet, according to my judgment and
means; and I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage.” This is an important
sentence. The message is clear about doing no harm. If you listen to advertisements
for prescriptions medicines you will hear an alarming list of side effects. The side
effects for prescriptive antibiotics include vomiting, severe diarrhea and abdominal
cramps, vaginal itching or discharge, white patches on the tongue, shortness of
breath, hives, swelling of lips, face, or tongue, fainting and rash.

Why would anyone succumb their body to such torture when nature is all the
medicine a sick body needs, and is virtually free of symptoms?

Indeed, nature offers a powerful prescription! Let’s take a closer look.

List of Most Powerful Natural Antibiotics for Survival
Take a closer look at natural antibiotics for survival because antibiotics may not be
available when you need them most. Natural antibiotics can be your first line of
defense (before going to the doctor for antibiotic drugs).  Natural antibiotics can help
you with sinus infections and colds, sore throats, urinary tract infections and
ordinary cuts and scrapes. You need only have the knowledge of the right natural
antibiotics.

Nineteen Natural Antibiotics
Let the healing begin! This top list of powerful antibiotics don’t require a prescription:

Natural Antibiotic #1: Apple Cider Vinegar.
Apple Cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic. Further weight loss,
arthritis, cholesterol, skin disorders, sinuses, anti-aging and much more. ACV is a
great detox for the body and can also be used as an astringent topically.

Natural Antibiotics #2: Andrographis to help with upper respiratory
infections.

Many preppers have not heard of andrographis. Grown in India and Sri Lanka,
Andrographis is a powerful anti-inflammatory to help you fight respiratory infections.
This powerful anti-inflammatory that’s a popular traditional Chinese herb.
Andrographis supports healthy digestive, cardiovascular, and urinary systems. For
an upper respiratory infection make andrographis tea.

  • Recipe for Andrographis Tea: Make a tea by using one tablespoon of the
    herb into hot water. Drink this tea three or four times a day. It’s rather strong, 
    but well worth the benefits. If you can’t muster the tea,  then get the capsule
    form!
  • Andrographis tablets: Andrographis Extract  in Nature’s Way, pictured right, is
    standardized to 10% andrographolides to support healthy immunity. Take 1
    capsule 2 times daily with water.

Natural Antibiotic #3: Cinnamon and Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil.  
Cinnamon is a natural antibiotic alternative that helps regulate insulin levels in the
body. Cinnamon helps repel insects too! Cinnamon leaf essential has a warm, spicy
and clove-like smell.

Cinnamon Leaf Oil (distinctly different from Cassia) is extremely effective against anti-
biotic resistant bacteria, which makes a powerful food safe nontoxic disinfectant to
disinfect Kitchen cupboards, inside refrigerators and toys. Cinnamon Leaf Oil
promotes circulation, helping to alleviate aches and pains. As well, Cinnamon Leaf oil
builds and maintains a healthy immune system and has long been used to flavor
food and for its internal health benefits.

Natural Antibiotic #4: Cloves and Clove Essential Oil.
As an antibiotic, Clove Essential Oil is a botanical alternative worth considering. It’s
an active ingredient in Fresh green black walnut wormwood complex, which helps
treat parasites. Cloves were precious in 16th and 17th century Europe, worth more
than its weight in gold for its medicinal properties. Avoid during pregnancy.

Natural Antibiotic #5: Coconut oil.
Prepper’s love multi-functional preps and coconut oil is one of them.Coconut oil is a
heat stable food that provides fast energy among many other useful properties,
including as a cosmetic. You can apply coconut oil directly to the skin!  It’s the lauric
acid in coconut oil that turn into an antibioitic.

Natural Antibiotic #6: Echinacea.
Echinacea purpurea is stem leaf flower, which has been clinically shown to support
the immune system. Echinacea is most effective at the very onset of a cold of flu. It
has the proven ability to increase white blood cell count, but it is a stimulant.

Natural Antibiotic #7: Frankincense (Botswellia serrata).
Frankincense has been used to treat inflammatory diseases for the centuries.
Boswellic acids from Frankincense are compounds isolated from the gum resin of the
Boswellia serrata plant. Frankincnese Essential Oil has a rich woody, earthy scent
with a deeply mysterious nuance dating back to biblical times. Frankincense also can
help aid with cancer according to Dr. Axe who also proclaims that food is medicine!

Natural Antibiotic #8: Garlic, Chives, Leeks and Onions.
Raw garlic is an antibiotic, antiviral and a fungicide. Not only will you keep those
vampires away, but raw garlic will help you overcome colds and flu and is used as a
cancer prevention food. Garlic has sulfur compounds which are beneficial to the
cardiovascular system to maintain cholesterol. In the same family for consideration
also are chives, leeks and onions.

Natural Antibiotics #9: Goldenseal.
Golden Seal is an ideal botanical option for antibiotics. Goldenseal prevents bacteria
from adhering to cell walls.  Used as a treatment for irritations and inflammation of
the mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts, Goldenseal
is ideal to for preppers to stock for many other reasons. Because of its anti-microbial
activity, goldenseal has a long history of use during the winter season and is often
used in combination with Echinacea.

  • Recipe for Sore Throat Gargle with GoldensealMake a gargle from
    Goldenseal PowderStart with a pinch of salt with half a teaspoon golden seal
    powder. Mix in the glass then gargle and spit. Do this three or four times a
    day. Do not take longer than two weeksRight, is Smallflower, Goldenseal
    root powder (one ounce of loose herbs). Smallflower is packaged in old world
    apothecary style, air tight brown paper canisters to keep light and moisture
    out, and freshness in. Use in teas, tinctures, and elixirs. See also, Frontier
    organic Goldenseal powder, right for your bulk use of goldenseal.
  • Read more about the immune boosting powers of Golden Seal. Golden seal
    may be applied topically on dry wounds to speed healing!For many centuries, 
    people from all over the globe have found fresh herbs to be a gentle yet
    effective health-enhancing blessing. The goldenseal herb has properties that
    stimulate appetite, aid digestion, often increase the production of bile and
    cure digestive problems, in addition to its antibiotic properties.

Natural Antibiotic #10: Grapefruit seed extract.
Grapefruit Seed Liquid Extract is a versatile natural oil known to have antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. There are many tablets on the market,
which you can take for anti-bacterial/anti-fungal maintenance. Grapefruit seed
extract helps keep the beneficial Flora.

Natural Antibiotics #11: Honey (Specifically, Manuka Honey to help
heal cuts and scrapes).

Many preppers believe ordinary honey will do the trick, but really you must choose
only honey, which comes from the Manuka tree in New Zealand!

Manuka honey has a stronger antibiotic component to it than ordinary honey. (Use a
tablespoon of Manuka honey and apply it topically three times a day). Be sure also
to look for the pre-made bandage with Manuka honey.

Natural Antibiotic #12: Lemon Eucalyptus Oil.
With it’s strong and woodsy aroma, Eucalyptus oil, is a treatment for skin ailments
such as burns, blisters, wounds, insect bites, lice and skin infections. Historically
Lemon Eucalyptus oil has helped combat the effects of colds and the flu, making
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil a fine addition to the list of pandemic preparedness and
supplies. It also has been used for over 100 years to combat sinus issues. Common
uses also include arthritis, bronchitis, poor circulation, and sinusitis.

Natural Antibiotic Food #13: Limes and Lemons.
Both lemons and limes contain flavonoids, which have antibiotic effects. Lime juice is
also effective against Cholera.

  • Grow lemons for survival.
  • Lemons can help soothe a mosquito bite!

Natural Antibiotic #14: Oil of Oregano.
Oregano oil has proven antibacterial qualitites according to a study published by the
JMM (Journal of Medical Microbiology).

Known to support digestive, respiratory and joint health, an active ingredient in Oil
of Oregano is carvacrol. According to Dr. Oz, “Oil of oregano, which is distilled from
the flowers and leaves of the oregano plant, could be one of nature’s most powerful
antibiotics. “Its ingredient, carvacro, may provide support to the immune system and
it also inhibits the growth of bacteria.”

Natural Antibiotic #15: Olive Leaf.
Olive Leaf was used by the Egyptians and written about by Hippocrates! Pictured
right, Barlean’s Olive Leaf Complex is an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal. It’s a
powerful antioxidant that can help give support to the healthy immune system,
cardiovascular system, and joints. Olive leaf features a natural antioxidant
(oleuropein), which neutralizes harmful free-radicals to bolster immune function.

Natural Antibiotic #16: Peppermint Oil.
Sure peppermint oil is revitalizing, invigorating, and cooling when applied topically as
aromatherapy, but Peppermint Oil aids with digestive problems (including irritable
bowel syndrome). It freshens your breath as well, which is why it’s an active
ingredient in many mouthwashes. Peppermint Oil has antibiotic properties, which is
another reason its often included in mouthwash and toothpaste, thanks the menthol
which is an organic compound of the peppermint plant. In addition to combating
stomach ailments, peppermint oil helps bruises heal more rapidly and soothes sore
joints. As an extra measure of natural goodness, perppermint is an antibacterial, as
well. Avoid Essential Oil of Peppermint during pregnancy (and keep out of eyes)!

Natural Antibiotic #17: Pau D’arco.
Not often talked about in prepper circles when it comes to botanical antibiotic
alternatives, is Pau D’arco. Pictured immediate right, Pau D’arco has a long history of
use in traditional cultures as a blood cleanser. This botanical from the rain forest
boosts your body’s defenses at the cellular level.

Natural Antibiotic #18: Tea Tree Oil.
Preppers are discovering the power of tea tree oil,  particularly in the realm of first
aid, but there is so much more tea tree oil can do for preppers! Indeed tea tree oil is
well loved in the medicine cabinet by preppers for dealing with everything from cuts,
abrasions sun burns and sprains to rashes, tick and chiggar bites and even tonsilitis!

From personal hygiene, to first aid and pet care, tea tree oil is extremely beneficial
for preppers. Tea tree oil offers a variety of cosmetic benefits, including clearing up
acne, blackheads and blemishes, as well as eliminating body odor, dandruff and
even bad breath. Tea tree oil is a natural and safe disinfectant! Preppers are also
discovering benefits in fighting mold, and helping relieve bacterial and viral infections.

Read more about the beneficial uses of tea tree oil and its significance to preppers.

Natural Antibiotic #19: Thyme oil.  
According to an abstract published by the U.S.National Library of Medicine National
Institutes of Health, “Thyme Oil demonstrated a good efficacy against antibiotics
resistant strains of the tested bacteria.”

BONUS Natural Antibiotics #20: Silver (Colloidal and NanoSilver).
Silver is an ancient remedy worthy of consideration. Colloidal silver was mainstream
medicine in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was replaced by man made antibiotics!

A natural and powerful antibiotic, colloidal silver works as a catalyst to disable
bacteria, fungus and viruses. Colloidal silver was first discovered in the early 1900s
by Alfread Searle who found it could kills the most deadly pathogens.

For Ebola prevention, choose 10ppm: as with Silver Biotics, which can supercharge
your family’s immune systems. Free of artificial ingredients, preservatives or
additives, Silver Biotics supports the immune system with 10 parts per million
beneficial silver. Dr. Rima Laibow says it’s a nutrient effective in neutralizing Ebola.
(She is referring to Nanosilver 10 parts per million)! The declassified research in
2009 from the Department of Defense shows that NanoSilver 10ppm (not to be
confused with Colloidal Silver) inactivates and neutralizes the Ebola virus.
There are many natural, botanical antibiotic alternatives to find in the natural food
stores or search easily online. Please tell us what you find!

Extensive list of Natural Antibiotics:
While the above list is a good start, below you’ll find an extensive list of more
natural antibiotics:

  1. Acacia
  2. Aloe
  3. Andrographis, listed above
  4. Bergamot (natura al polyphenolic antioxidant free radical scavenger)
  5. Cabbage
  6. Collodial Silver, listed above
  7. Echinacea
  8. Eucalyptus (see also lemon eucalyptus, which is not the same)
  9. Garlic, listed above
  10. Ginger
  11. Goldenseal, listed above
  12. Grapefruit Seed Extract, listed above
  13. Horseradish
  14. Honey
  15. Lavender Esstential Oil
  16. Lemon Eucaylptus Oil
  17. Licorice
  18. Olive Leaf, listed above
  19. Oil of Oregano, listed above
  20. Myrhh
  21. Pau D’arco, listed above
  22. Sage
  23. Tea Tree Oil
  24. Thyme Oil, listed above
  25. Turmeric
  26. Wooly Lamb’s Ear
  27. Wormwood, excellent for parasite cleansing.

How to Survive in a world without antibiotic prescriptions
Antibiotics, which surfaced for medical use in the 1950s, kill or inhibit the growth of
microorganisms — they are directly lethal to bacteria  and have no effect on viruses)!

Available topically or orally, antibiotics have been helping mankind win the war
against bacteria and live to tell about it. Penicillin was the first natural oral antibiotic
discovered for medicinal purposes, but there are many natural alternatives.
While the natural antibiotics are a viable option, storing antibiotics intended for
animals, because they don’t require a prescription is a common prepper practice.

Fish antibiotics, like FishMox, is a common prepper survival tactic and well worth
considering. Mind you, it’s difficult to find and not always available in pet stores, nor
on Amazon, but if you can find it, then get some! Consult your doctor about FishMox,
which is the same amoxicillin prescribed for humans, to see if this is right for you and
your family. This antibiotic intended for fish may be the only antibiotic available in
uncertain times when a doctor is not available.

  • Doctor Bones and Nurse Amy recommend botanical antibiotic alternatives, 
    such as cayenne, eucalyptus oil, honey, thyme oil, peppermint oil, garlic oil, as
    well as fresh garlic and ginger. As well, they advise use of Fish antibiotics.
  • Read the Survival Blog: Veterinarians perspective on Prepper Medicine.
  • See this testimonial from a Doomsday Prepper who advocates pet medicine use.
  • NOTE: Always consult a physician for a proper human prescription as you may
    have a sever allergic reaction. Prior to ever needing this medication, consult
    your doctor on the proper dosage, should you ever need it when he or she is
    not around for a prescription
  • Patriot Nurse Recommended Antibiotics:
  1. Zithromax
  2. Ampicillin
  3. Cipro
  4. Amoxicillin
  5. Doxycycline
  • (Additionally she recommends clindamycin, Flagyl and Bactrim).
  • Equivalent antibiotics available for fish, popular with preppers:
  1. Fish Flex (Cephalexin)*
  2. FishMox Fort (Amoxicillin)*
  3. Fish Pen (Penicillin)*

While antibiotics have had a role in modern medicine, considering the long list of side
effects from prescription drugs, isn’t it wise to consider first the natural antibiotic
alternatives?

Grow your own Medicinal Herbs:
What will you discover in Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs book, a beginners
guide? Bring herbs into your life! Learn to make an aloe lotion soothes poison ivy,
dandelion-burdock tincture for sluggish digestion, and lavender-lemon balm tea for
stress relief. Pair this guidebook with the Medicinal Herb Garden in a can, also
pictured left. Soon you will enjoy.

  • Cayenne, the most widely regarded as a circulatory stimulant said to
    strengthen the heart and blood vessels while promoting increased vitality.
  • Borage, effective against weak or diminished adrenal function, inflammation, 
    sore and inflamed eyes, colds, bronchitis, congestion, and fever.
  • Pleurisy root, used by Native Americans, has been used in the treatment of
    diarrhea, dysentery, chronic rheumatism, and as an expectorant
  • Nettle treats asthma as well as cold and allergy relief when steeped as a tea.
  • Skullcap treats insomnia and is a headache remedy.
  • Culver’s root treats liver and gallbladder disorders.
  • Hyssop leaves have been brewed into a tea to soothing properties for colds, 
    flus, sore throat, bruises and burns!
  • Lemon balm is a known folk remedy used as an anti-viral agent.
  • Lavender has a multitude of uses for preppers.

What’s the Difference between Antiseptics, Antibacterials and
Antibiotics and Disinfectants?

  • Antibacterial: apply to skin! An antibacterial is anything that is active against
    bacteria.  Saliva has natural antibacterial properties, which is why wound in
    your mouth heal quickly, so your instinct to lick a wound is actually a good
    thing! Antiseptics go a step further.
  • Antiseptics: apply to the skin to prevent the growth and reproduction of
    disease-causing microorganisms. An antiseptic is gentler than a disinfectant, 
    because its applied to living tissue. The microorganisms an antiseptic deters
    include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses! Believe it or not, some mouthwash is an antiseptic. Mouthwash antiseptics include ingredients such
    as cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine (available by prescription from your
    Dentist), or zinc chloride.
  • Antibiotics. An agent that kills or inhibits the growth of a microorganism 
    applied topically or orally. Antibiotics are transported… used in or on the body
    to kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Antibiotics have no effect on
    viruses.
  • Disinfectants: apply to surfaces (not skin). A disinfectant is a chemical liquid
    that destroys bacteria. A disinfectant is stronger than an antiseptic. It kills 
    bacteria, and also viruses and fungi.

When there is no doctor, preppers will need to be creative about their medical
supplies. Following is a list of antibacterials and disinfectants to consider stocking.
Many have uses beyond their wound cleansing properties.

Happy endings…
Survival antibiotics  often overlooked by preppers, come from nature. This earth is
complete with natural remedies. Look to nature to heal. Nature is happy to be your
medicine doctor! Below you will find some related articles to help you in your quest
for natural healing.

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In case of apocalypse, here’s how to make penicillin in your kitchen

What’s rotting in your kitchen right now? How about we grab it, and make life-saving antibiotics with it? We’ll take you through the steps, and you’ll be prepared if the world ends by Sunday.

acocalypse-to-make-pencillin

Penicillin, the most famous antibiotic of all time, has saved millions of lives. And it’s quietly lurking in your kitchen right now. If you have that moldy piece of bread in a bag at the back of the fridge, or a rotting cantaloupe or orange in the crisper, you’re most likely growing penicillin by accident. In fact, penicillin’s whole discovery hinged on the fact that it was easy to grow accidentally.

The Accidental History of Penicillin

acocalypse-to-make-pencillin-2

Infection has always been a killer, and while soap and water could prevent it externally, when it went internal humans were often helpless. Any anti-bacterial agent injected into the body would kill a person more quickly than the infection would. Then Alexander Fleming had the nasal drip felt round the world. He was working with a plate of bacteria when his nose dripped into them. The bacteria around the dripping died off, and he was encouraged by the idea that the body could tolerate internally a substance that could fight off bacteria.

Fleming’s next stroke of luck came when he lost his assistant. When dishes of bacteria were no longer useful, they were put in a sort of tub of bleach. Without his assistant, Fleming’s dirty dishes formed towers in the tub. The highest dishes sat well above bleach, and remained filthy. They grew even filthier when mold which had floated up from the lab downstairs started growing on them. And then they stopped being as filthy, when the mold, one of the many types of penicillium fungi, killed off the bacteria.

That was all the luck Fleming got. It took years to find a way to cultivate the right strain of penicillium, and to extract the right parts of it to make penicillin.

acocalypse-to-make-pencillin-3

How to Make Your Own Penicillin

The strains that we have are from the mold grown on a cantaloupe in the 1940s, so you can grab some cantaloupe if you’re feeling like a traditionalist. Otherwise, a leftover crust of bread or the peel of some citrus fruit will do fine. The mold will start out gray, but as it develops will turn a bright blue-green. Once it gets started, cut the bread up into pieces and put it in a sterilized flask. (You can sterilize a flask by putting it in an oven at 315 degrees for an hour.) Incubate it in the flask for about a week at around seventy degrees.

Some people just stop there. Folk recipes for “penicillin tea” or “penicillin soup” abound, with people just boiling up the molded bread or adding the citrus to tea with honey, and serving it to sick people. (Note: Do not do this.)

If you want to get more involved, you can extract the penicillin by sterilizing yet another jar and, according to the experts, adding the following:

Into 500ml of cold tap water put 44.0 grams Lactose Monohydrate, 25.0 grams cornstarch, 3.0 grams sodium nitrate, 0.25 grams magnesium sulfate, 0.50 grams potassium phosphate mono, 2.75 grams glucose monohydrate, 0.044 grams zinc sulfate, 0.044 grams manganese sulfate. Then add enough cold tap water to make one liter. Use hydrochloric acid to adjust the pH to between 5.0 and 5.5.

Then you add the spores from the moldy bread. Another seven days incubation will leave the penicillin floating in the liquid portion of the results. A quick filter and you have penicillin.

Urgent Medical Disclaimer!

In theory, at least, you have penicillin. I must stress at this point that you should not use this homemade penicillin on any limb that you want to keep. Although you did probably get a lot of penicillium mold growing on the bread, you also got other molds. Even with the right kind of fungi growing, filtering out everything but the penicillin is difficult, and best left to the professionals. Molds make a lot of different things to kill bacteria, and many of them are harmful to humans. While there are plenty of survivalist websites that recommend clapping whatever grows on bread or citrus to your wound, and while that might even be an option sometimes after the world ends, there are better options right now, and you should take advantage of them. If you want to see how well you’ve done making penicillin, try growing a tray of bacteria and using the penicillin on that.

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8 Challenges Every New Prepper Will Face

challenges-for-preppers

Good things do not come easily.  If you want something that is worthwhile and valuable then you will have to work hard at it consistently with patience.  In our society we are used to having everything quickly such as microwavable food, fast food and ordering things online.  Then when something that we really want becomes hard or takes too long we get frustrated and discouraged.

When I became interested in the preparedness idea it was hard for me to pinpoint how to start or where to begin.  Searching on the internet resulted in hundreds of websites and YouTube videos each with differing views and experiences.  I became overwhelmed and discouraged.  I began to feel it wasn’t worth the time to sift through the information to truly become prepared.

However, everyday I see on the news and read in the papers daily what is happening in our world.  Natural disasters are happening more frequently.  Violence and hatred is at an all-time high in this world.  Then seeing the economy tanking with millions of people out of jobs I realized that it worthwhile to be prepared now.

Ultimately it was a verse of scripture that I came across that made the difference.  In Proverbs 22:3 it says“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”  Now you may not be a Christian or even believe in a deity but you cannot deny the wisdom of that verse.  How many times have we seen societies and even regular people neglect to take heed to warning signs ending in tragedy?

As I continue this prepper journey there are challenges that I face almost daily.  It can be easy to let discouragement turn us around and neglect the warning signs that we see every day.  It gets hard but I believe that it is worth it to continue on.  Our work will not be done in vain.

With that being said I believe there are a few challenges that every prepper will face during their journey.  So I have included my suggestions on how to overcome those challenges.

8 Challenges Every New Prepper Will Face

1. Not knowing where to start

As I mentioned when I began my prepper journey I was clueless on whereto start.  I didn’t know any dedicated prepper.  My family members do not believe in the same way of thinking so I couldn’t ask them for advice.

Therefore, I turned to the wonderful world of the internet where many believe if it is on the internet then it must be true.  I spent endless hours studying and sifting through the knowledge available in order to find a foundation to build on top of.

Eventually after much studying of how to get started I was able to put together a plan.  This wasn’t a concrete plan but is something that is ever evolving.  Either way it is important to have a plan instead of mindlessly wandering buying gear here and there.

In a previous post Must Have Prepper Gear and Where to Start I outlined that plan.  It helped me determine what dangers are most likely to happen in comparison to other threats.  From there I was able to prioritize those threats by first getting a better understanding of them.

For example, you don’t want to build a fall out bunker because you saw it on Doomsday Preppers but not be prepared for a hurricane if you live in Florida.  Yes, a nuclear attack may happen but the likelihood that you will face a hurricane is a lot higher.  Therefore you need to identify the threats and prioritize them using that post.

2. Disapproval from friends and family

In our society people call someone who is a prepper crazy because they believe in being prepared for disasters instead of depending on a government to save them.  People have become so mindless that they believe something similar to a small pox outbreak could never happen in our time.  Then when they meet someone who does it shocks them.  The media has painted preppers to be crazy conspiracy enthusiasts which is true to extent but doesn’t apply to everyone who calls themselves a prepper.

As a single person I’m not dependent upon the approval of a wife or kids.  That is much more challenging especially if you are a new prepper and your spouse is not on board.  Many times they will roll their eyes at you or scold you for spending so much money on supplies.

In a previous post by Dan Sullivan he explains how you can be a prepper without looking crazy.  Our goal shouldn’t be to control family members into believing what we believe.  Instead we should try to speak their language.  For example, they may not believe in the potential of martial law being instituted but they could be concerned about an earthquake in your area.  Try finding their fears and speak their language to encourage them about the importance of being prepared.

3. Finding storage for your preps

As an apartment prepper it is extremely challenging to find space to store emergency supplies.  You don’t have a garage or able to expand your property to fit everything.  Storing food alone is challenging.  Then you have to find where to store gear.

This challenge is not only for the apartment prepper.  Even if you have a house you could be very limited to space due to having a family with kids.  So we have to find creative ways to build storage.

On Pinterest there are tons of articles on prepper storage that you can find to help you to either build your own storage or find small living hacks.  Another good option is look into renting off site storage.  Now I would recommend having the essentials in your house along with at least a 30 day supply of food.  The remainder can be stored in these off-site locations.  This is also good if you are raided and your supplies are stolen.  Off-site storage will give you a backup solution.

4. Getting caught up in prepper fantasies

A lot of new preppers have seen episodes of Doomsday Prepper and are attracted by what they see.  They see these bunkers and weapons thinking that it is all there is too prepping.  They are made to believe that they could be a one man army against the world.

I hear it all the time from new preppers when they are just getting started with building a bug out bag first.  They think that it is going to be like on the tv shows where they can evade danger to live in the woods without facing any challenges.  Of course they don’t realize that bugging out should be the very last option to consider.  You should be more focused on bugging in.

5. Too much focus on gear and not survival

Don’t get me wrong, this blog is about prepper gear where I share reviews of what I buy along with DIY survival gear.  But the focus should not be on the gear when you first get started.  The focus should be on surviving.  You can survive without a lot of the gear that is available.  Prepper gear just helps make it easier.  However, if your gear breaks or fails then you better be able to survive without it.

When it comes to survival you want to follow the rule of 3’s.  This rule states that you can survive only 3 seconds without hope, 3 minutes without air or blood, 3 hours in extreme weather conditions, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.  So you should learn the survival basics of each.  For example you can learn how to filter and purify water so that it is drinkable.  You could also practice building a fire to survive extreme weather conditions and so on.

6. Lack of money to purchase gear

A lot of us are feeling the effects of an economy that is suffering.  Even if the economy is doing well there will still be a lot of us that will still be suffering.  This makes it almost impossible to buy high quality gear because it can get pretty pricey.

This is why I share my experience purchasing prepper gear and testing it on this blog.  I can’t afford some of the high end stuff.  So I purchase the best possible gear at the most reasonable price.  Don’t get me wrong you pay for what you get.  Therefore if you buy generic then you are buying generic quality which typically isn’t great.  So you will have to sacrifice sometimes.

However, I try to provide you with the best possible price for the gear that I review and why I recommend purchasing from there.  Most of my gear is purchased through companies on Amazon because I don’t want to search all over the internet to find gear.  But there will be some gear that is not available on Amazon that I will purchase as well.

In my post 7 Great Inexpensive Places to Buy Prepper Gear I include a lot of great places to check out.  Some include yard sales, Goodwill, army surplus, etc.  Sometimes we may have to start with cheaper gear just to have something there quickly available until you can afford the better quality item.

Being a prepper is a lifestyle.  It isn’t something that is done overnight.  You will never be finished being prepared because there is always going to be something better to buy and learn.

7. Becoming fearful and overwhelmed

During my prepper journey there was a time that I felt extremely overwhelmed and stressed.  I believed that I didn’t have enough gear and didn’t have enough survival skills.  I felt like there was an imminent danger.

There is that fear that will be present when it comes to being a prepper.  This is especially true if you get caught up in a lot of internet shows and conspiracy theorists who live off of the fears of others.  Be very weary of people who constantly keeping you in fear in order to get you to purchase their products.  Stuff like that can drive you insane and into poverty.

Eventually you will have to realize that even if you are at least somewhat prepared you are still more prepared than millions of others in this world.  For example 53% of Americans do not have 3 days of emergency supplies.  So if you even have three days worth of supplies you are more prepared than millions of people in the United States.

8. Meeting other like-minded preppers

One funny thing that I have learned about preppers is that they are very suspicious of other people especially if you are also a prepper.  Many of them believe that if they let you know that you are a prepper then you are going to come to their house and raid them when SHTF.  So they don’t bother bonding together to build prepper communities.  This has been especially challenging for me.

There are few places or things that you can do to meet like-minded people.  You can find a local amateur radio club in your area.  A lot of the people who are HAM operators are preppers or are like minded.

Another great option to find like-minded people is to visit a gun range frequently.  You can also join a local rifle club or gun enthusiasts club.  Many of those people are concerned about defending themselves and others in times of a disaster.

One final suggestion is that you can find a local survival or bush craft group.  A lot of survivalists and bush crafters are also concerned with preparedness but may not necessarily call themselves a prepper.

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Top prepper medicines to stock for survival

Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ” Hippocrates.

When there is no doctor and when there is no medicine, what then? Survival
medicine is doing what you can with what you have, so make sure you have something
when the rest of the world runs out! If you are passionate about your survival,
consider asking your physician now for extra prescription medicines and antibiotics, or
stocking up on unusual homeopathic and non-prescription medicines. Stocking up on
medicines just might save a life: yours!

Emergency Medical Technicians, nurses and doctors have one common shortcoming:
much of their power to heal and save lives becomes useless without support of
medicine and medical supplies. And therein lies the reality: eventually medicines and
supplies will run out in the end of the world as we know it.

Here are the top prepper medicines to stock for survival:

#1: Activated Charcoal Tablets (toxin adsorption*).
Activated charcoal is the black magic potion the prepper’s medicine bag. We’re not
talking Kingsford here (don’t use chemically laden charcoal briquettes): the
recommended medicine for your cabinet is a specially activated charcoal. While
activated charcoal has many uses (from teeth whitening to reducing your cholesterol)
its ideally suited for preppers as an emergency toxin removal. Activated charcoal,
through adsorption, traps toxins in the body to help flush them out. Another of the
major benefits of activated charcoal is that it helps alleviate gas and bloating.

Make way for Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal capsules, pictured left. Nature’s Way
Activated Charcoal (from Indian Hardwood) is commonly used to adsorb* digestive
gas. It also protects the body from overdosing on harmful toxic substances. Due to its
large surface area, activated charcoal has high adsorption properties, meaning that it
keeps certain substances from being absorbed in the body’s gastrointestinal tract.

    • * Note: adsorption, not absorption, refers to adhesion of atoms, ions, molecules
      from a dissolved solid, liquid or gas. The adsorption process flushes poison and
      toxins from the body.

 

    #2: Ammonia Inhalant (smelling salts).
    Ammonia Inhalant, pictured right, is a modern day version of “smelling salts.” It’s
    intended as a product to arouse patients who’ve fainted. An often overlooked prep,
    you will be happy to  know you can revive someone to save their life with a swift
    measure of ammonia inhalant.

    #3: Antibiotics – Fish Mox (amoxicillin – broad sprectrum antibiotic)
    The role of antibiotics in modern day is immeasurable. FishMox is the primary brand of
    amoxicillin (antibiotic) stocked by preppers for extreme catastrophic situations where a
    doctor or when medicines intended for humans are not available. Amoxicillin treats
    bacterial infections, but also presents a severe allergic reaction in some people which
    is sudden, intense and possibly deadly. Consult your doctor about FishMox* to see if
    this option is right for you and your family in a survival situation when prescription
    antibiotics will be hard to come by after a societal collapse. Remember, this antibiotic is
    intended for fish, not humans, but may be the only antibiotic available in uncertain
    times when a doctor is not available. Stock Fish Mox, but do not use it under ordinary
    circumstances, and do not stock it without consulting a doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
    Learn the proper dose for your bodyweight before you ever need it and discuss your
    family’s history of allergies! This is the value a medical professional can provide. Fish
    Mox is no longer currently available on Amazon.

    • Discover the nine best survival antibiotics from the Urban Survival website.
    • Nurse Amy and Doctor bones have a video about Fish antibiotics.
    • Medical professionals may like to order Antibiotics Simplified.
    • Did you know antibiotics are safe to use for at least five years after expiration? 
      Learn more about expiration dates. Save your unused medicines!
    • Read: Fish antibiotics for preppers.

    #4: Anti-diarrheal.
    An important prepper medicine to stock is an over the counter anti-diarrheal. It doesn’t
    matter whether you stock a brand name or a generic:

    • Imodium® A-D or other anti-diarrheal to controls symptoms of diarrhea. Here is
      more about the case for stocking Imodium.
    • Kirkland Anti-diarrheal includes the active ingredient (Loperamide HCI 2 mg.)but
      at a much lower cost.

    #5: Antihistamine allergy medicine (e.g., Benadryl)
    Benadryl is diphenhydramine, the brand name of antihistamine allergy medicine. Since
    1946 Benadryl has been providing temporary relief of seasonal and perennial allergy
    symptoms. Most notably, taking an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
    provides a measure of relief against bee stings.

    • Learn more about bee sting treatment.

    #6: Aspirin (painkiller).
    Much more than a painkiller, you’ll find many reasons to include aspirin in your preps.
    For your bugout bag, pack aspirin in small packets, pictured immediate left.

    #7: Boiron Oscillococcinum (Homeopathic flu remedy).
    Boiron Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic product for Flu-like Symptoms, pictured left.
    Boiron Oscillococcinum, pictured left, temporarily relieves flu-like symptoms such as
    body aches, headache, fever, chills and fatigue.

    #8: Colloidal Silver (natural antibiotic).
    A powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral, Colloidal Silver soothes a number
    of skin ailments, including soothing burns, minimize scarring, relieving herpes sores,
    and medicating boils, ringworm or warts!

    Colloidal Silver is a mineral with wildly debated medical claims, but preppers agree it is
    a necessary item in the medicine cabinet. According to the manufacturer of Ultra Pure
    Colloidal Silver Natures Best Antibiotic, “There is no known disease causing organism
    that can live in the presence of even minute traces of Colloidal Silver. Colloidal Silver is
    used to treat a wide range of diseases and infections, both internally and externally.”

    The big pharmaceutical companies don’t appreciate these claims, and the Federal Drug
    Administration isn’t on board either and so colloidal silver gets a bad rap.

    While we don’t think anyone should self medicate, there may be a time in the future
    you may be faced in desperation to cure a disease. Preppers pack colloidal silver in
    their personal pharmacy because it is a natural antibiotic available without a
    prescription. It serves as an alternative when prescribed antibiotics are not available
    and infection is life threatening. Preppers also appreciate versatility of a prep.

    • Read more about the Benefits of Colloidal Silver for Preppers.

    #9: Digestive enzymes (Enzyme supplement, digestive aid).
    Your stomach won’t be quite the same after your diet changes. Many a backpacker has
    overdosed on freeze dried food and can testify to this. Digestive enzymes will help
    restore your body’s proper balance.

    #10: Frankincense (natural immune booster).
    Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) reduces inflammation, helps fight infection and boost
    immunity among so many uses. Read our full article on the benefits of Frankincense.
    Learn also about Myrrh Essential Oil.

    #11 Fresh Green Black Walnut Wormwood Complex (treats parasites).
    During a survival situation, you may be hunting and unable to provide a stable source
    of fresh drinking water. Have a plan to clear parasites out of the body with Fresh
    Green Black Walnut Wormwood Complex. This powerful extract, derived from the hulls
    of green black walnuts, is  a centuries old herbal tonic to promote healthy microbial
    activity. Fresh green black walnut wormwood complex comes highly recommended by
    The Patriot Nurse in a survival situation for those who plan on hunting.

    #12: Goldenseal (immune support).
    Popular as antifungal and antibacterial, Goldenseal root promotes a healthy immune
    system. Goldenseal, also called Indian turmeric or “ginseng’s little brother” by the
    Cherokee, has potent medicinal properties. It can kill germs on contact particularly in
    mucus membranes and not get absorbed in the blood stream, which can be
    advantageous for many, but can make blood pressure fluctuate, so check with your
    health care practitioner. It’s also used as a digestive aid and studies are underway for
    using goldenseal to support healing of cancer.

    #13: Neem Oil.
    Neem oil reduces skin inflammation and helps remedy skin disorders, including acne,
    eczema and psoriasis. Commonly also used as an antiviral, antifungal, and
    antibacterial, you’ll find neem oil is also an antiparasitic; and neem oil is also used as
    an organic pesticide!

    #14: Oregano Oil (an antiflammatory and more).
    Packed with protection against bed bugs, fleas, lice, even mosquitoes, and tape worm!
    Oregano oil is also effective against vaginal infections, cold and flu, and a host of other
    homeopathic uses.

    • Read more about oregano oil, and other natural antibiotics.

    #15: Potassium Iodide Capsules (radiation emergency).
    Potassium Iodide is a prepper medicine often overlooked and yet essential to take if
    radiation is imminent and may be limited or unavailable when health officials notify the
    public of exposure and urgency. Potassium Iodide capsules, pictured immediate right,
    can help maintain a high level of beneficial iodides in the thyroid gland. Potassium
    Iodide supports the body’s normal detoxification processes, including the removal of
    heavy metals, though it’s not a cure for radiation sickness.

    • Learn more about radiation exposure and survival.

    #16: Stool softener (constipation relief).
    You’ll be eating foods you’re not used to eating, so consider that bowel movements
    may fluctuate more often. Miralax, pictured bottom left of page, is a stool softener to
    help you get through eating too much freeze dried food.

    #17: SaltStick caps Plus (hydration).
    Avoid cramping during and after long distance and high elevation hikes. Trusted by
    marathon runners, SaltStick buffered electrolyte salts plus caffeine and sodium,
    pictured immediate right, will give preppers on the move an edge. In addition to
    reducing muscle cramping, these totally vegetarian capsules reduce heat stress,
    maintain electrolyte levels and increase energy levels. It’s a great bugout-bag item or
    for hunting.

    #18: Tea Tree oil (external use only).
    Tea Tree Essential Oil, pictured left, is best known as a very powerful immune
    stimulant. It’s a powerful anti-fungal and disinfectant for topical use only. It can help to
    fight all three categories of infectious organisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses), and
    there is evidence that Tea Tree Oil massages prior to an operation may help to fortify
    the body and reduce post-operative shock. Tea Tree Oil can help with colds, measles,
    sinusitis and viral infections.

    Tea tree oil is very penetrating oil to help cure infections and boils, and even seep
    through toenails. It’s great for athletes foot! Learn more about tea tree oil benefits.

    • Do NOT ingest tea tree oil! You may wind up in the hospital. Some apply tea
      tree oil sparingly to sores in the mouth and on lips, but this is a deadly
      concoction to some and not worth the risk for others. Never ingest tea tree oil!

    #19: Thieves Oil (pandemics).

    • Ebola preventionPossibly, however, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration has
      been very careful in preventing Thieves Oil manufacturers, like Young Living from
      marketing their product as a drug to prevent Ebola and has sent them a severe
      warning letter. Such products are not intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, 
      mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease and should not be marketed as
      such, according to the FDA. It is illegal to market this product as an anti-viral for
      any purpose.

     

    • Plague prevention: There is evidence that Thieves Oil keeps plague at bay
      During the 15th-century plague, thieves used an oil of cloves, rosemary, and
      other aromatics to protect themselves while robbing plague victims.

     

    • Upper respiratory support: In the Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for
      When Help is Not on the Way by Joseph Alton M.D. and Amy Alton ARNP, they
      recommend stocking Thieves Oil! (Page 78.) for upper respiratory infections.

    #20:  Topical Anesthetic Gel – Hurricaine (tooth pain relief).
    Nothing bites worse than tooth pain! Hurricaine topic gel, pictured  right, will
    anesthetize muscle tissue to provide temporary relief in discomfort in teeth and gums.
    This medication will be a godsend for the day when a dentist is not available. In the
    old days, the agony of dental pain was among the top causes of suicide.

    Nature’s medicine cabinet
    Interested in other prepper medicines? Preppers also stock a variety of home
    remedies, salves, unconventional medicines, and essential oils for survival:

    • Aloe vera. Aloe will provide soothing relief from sunburns.

     

    • Coconut oil. Learn to cook with coconut oil.

     

    • Echinacea. A medicinal powerhouse and secret of Native Americans, echinacea
      has been popular as an antiviral and antibacterial sold to help fight symptoms
      of cold and flu.

     

    • Elderberry. Proven effective for use against swine and avian flu, elderberry
      extract is manufacturered as Sambucol. Safe and effective for kids, there are no
      known side effects.

     

    • Epsom Salts. Discover the medicinal uses of Epsom salts, including how Epsom 
      salts help flush out toxins from the body, improve absorption of nutrients, and
      even soothe aching muscles.

     

    • Honey. Honey is ideal as a topical antibiotic because apparently honey kills
      bacteriaaccording to Science Daily. What’s more, honey will last almost
      indefinitely! Consider the many good reasons to hoard honey.

     

    • Hydrogen Peroxide. As a first aid essential, hydrogen peroxide can help prevent
      infection in minor cuts, scrapes and burns. It may also be used as an oral
      debriding agent. It can aid in removing phlegm, mucus or other secretions
      associated with a sore mouth. Stock hydrogen peroxide in your prepper’s
      medicine cabinet and learn more about applications for your survival.

     

    • Onions Onions have natural anti-fungal properties. For immediate relief, rub on
      affected areas. Here’s how an onion can soothe a bee sting.

     

    • Peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is great for your health, and you’ll keep pesky
      little critters away. Spiders hate peppermint oil and rodents too! 100% 
      peppermint oil will burn their little nostrils!

     

    • Salt. Discover the many medicinal uses of salt.

    More great finds:

    • Christopher’s Infection Fighting Formula (dietary supplement, flu season).
      Pictured at the bottom of the page, Christopher’s Infection Fighting Formula is
      highly rated on Amazon. Such dietary supplements offer added peace of mind
      during the flu season. Get through pandemic situations knowing you’re charging
      your family with infection fighting vitamins.

     

    • Melatonin (sleep aid). Many preppers stash coffee and tea for survival. They
      need also stock something to help them fall asleep: Melatonin. During a crisis, 
      your mind may be hyper alert with thoughts keeping you awake at night, but
      without adequate sleep you may not be able to follow through on an effective
      strategy of survival. That’s where Melatonin comes into play. Melatonin by
      Nature’s Bounty, pictured right, is great for people experiencing occasional
      sleeplessness, those with jet lag, or anyone seeking to improve their quality of
      rest.

     

    • Caffeine (alertness and energy aid). Caffeine supplements will help you stay
      awake and five-hour energy boosters may help provide the endurance you need
      to protect your family or meet another critical survival need.

     

      • Is a caffeine pill hard to swallow? Try decaffeinated chewing gum!

     

      Considering that stress and poor nutrition along with reduced hygiene and total lack of
      medical care are very real threats to your health during a catastrophe, it’s wise to
      prepare; however, for any health or dietary matter, consult your Doctor well in
      advance of needing to use any of these products. This medicine cabinet supply list is
      intended for long-term storage and use only for a scenario where a pharmacy and
      medical professional network is unavailable.*

      Happy Endings…
      It’s better to have medicine (and not use it) than to need medicine (and not have it)!

      Posted on Leave a comment

      Survival Eating

      Food is not just a source of energy and sustenance, but a comfort item as well. When you are hungry, morale goes down and chances of survival dwindle.  There will be several opportunities to find food after the supermarkets close, you just need to know where to look and what tools to have.

      The first thing you need to know is that meat will only take you only so far.  If you read Meriwether Lewis’s journals from their exploration; the men still felt hungry although they were eating several pounds of meat per day.  You can eat 10 rabbits a day and still “starve” as rabbit lacks everything except protein for your body’s survival.

      Trapping

      Trapping is the most feasible option to maintain a steady supply of fresh meat for the “table”.  There are several traps and many more that can be improvised.  Many people have trapped animals, even if it was just setting a mouse trap to get rid of a pest. The most important thing to prepare for using traps to supply food is to educate oneself on the habits and lifestyles of the animals in your area.  If you must travel to your secure location, remember to research and study the areas for the areas you will need to travel through.   My experiences are mostly in the Midwest and Southeastern US, so some tips or items may not be as suitable for a Western environment but I will try and offer tips based on what I have read or been told by trappers/outdoors-men in those areas.

      survival-eating

      Animal tracks are a sure sign that something is or has been in the area. Tracks can be the obvious footprints in the sand or dirt but can also be as subtle as the scratches on a tree trunk or small holes dug into the ground where your prey was hunting their own meal. Several books are available for studying the footprints of the animals so you can know what animal you are targeting is.  I’d prefer NOT to trap a skunk or opossum unless they are my only choice.  Time and energy spent on setting traps for the wrong animal are time and energy you will not get back.  Also, setting a rat trap or 110 body grip trap for a raccoon or ground hog is wasted time, as you will not be using the proper tools.

      There are several different brands and sizes of store bought traps available on the market. The 3 major types are:

      1) Foothold traps– These come in a variety of sizes and even styles.  There are single jaws (most common) and double jaws; toothed (think of the old bear traps) or smooth jaw; long spring or coil spring.  The long spring has single or double long springs which are made by “folding” a piece of spring metal over and then pinching it to allow the trap to be set.  Tension is supplied by the animal stepping on the “pan” and releasing the lock, which allows the long spring to expand back to its “U” shape and thus applies pressure holding the trapped animal. Coil spring traps use coil springs either in a double or 4 coil set up.  The more coils, the stronger the traps strength to hold an animal, but too much strength can break a bone and thus allow the animal to tear off its foot and escape (thus the legend was born of animals “chewing” their leg off to escape a trap). Trap sizes increase with the “number”.  The added weight of the long springs is useful for drowning rig set ups, but coil spring traps are smaller for packing.

      2)  Body grip (commonly referred to as connibear)- These traps are square in shape and they normally kill the prey upon capture. They utilize 1 or 2 springs and a single trigger/lock mechanism.  They come in 3 common sizes, 110, 220, 330, size grows with the number.  Some manufacturers have “middle sizes as well, but they are not as common. When selecting these traps, read the description and choose the trap by the opening size (110 = 7inch by 7 inch opening; normally) and what you will need for the animals in your area for planning purposes.  I use 110’s for squirrel, muskrat, rabbit, etc for planning purposes, 220 for raccoon, ground hog, fox, etc; and 330 for beaver, coyote, really big raccoons, etc.  Some reading this will wonder why I included foxes and coyotes but if you are secure in your homestead and something raids the chicken coop or garden plot; you may have to trap for varmint control as well as food.

      3) Snares– These handy gems can be bought already made or obtained by buying the different components and making custom sized snares for game not normally trapped in today’s normal living conditions.  Snares are designed to catch an animal as it walks through the hoop of the snare and then being strangled. You can fix these to small saplings or branches being bent and anchored to a stake with a trigger device to spring back to their original position and creating a very fast choke or even breaking the neck of the prey. Most modern snares are made from aircraft cable of 5/32 or 3/16 inch diameter. You can also use heavier gauge as long as it is pliable and you customize the hardware for the thicker cable. Snares can also be improvised from a variety of materials, fishing line being a natural choice. I carry braided line with 60# test or higher for such purposes and also to use for limb lines. Regular sewing thread or light weight (2-4#) fishing line is useful for securing the snare to brush or fencing to keep its shape and stay in place once set.   Snares made from 6-10# fishing line works well for birds. For hiking in parts of Alaska and Canada (possibly other locations), it is required by law that you have a couple snares in your pack and the knowledge to use them.

      These are the main types of animal traps used for trapping fur-bearers for their pelts. They can add immense possibilities to the prepper for putting food on the table if and when the need arises.  Improvised traps are also very important; not only will they be used if caught in an emergency where you don’t have your kit, i.e. an aircraft crash since we can’t carry our kits as a carry on.

      Deadfalls are probably the best known and easiest to construct improvised trap.  These are created by using an object or objects that weigh enough to kill the intended target by crushing it.  Rocks, trees, branches, cast off equipment or materials (bricks, sandbags, vehicle parts, etc) can all be used for the weight. You balance the weight and attach the bait to a trigger, a type 4 trigger is the most common but takes practice to make, and when the animal pulls on the bait, it causes the weight to fall and crush it.  You can also use a manual trigger by attacking a string or rope to the brace and pulling the brace out manually once the target enters the “kill zone.”  This can be practiced by using a laundry basket and catching birds in the back yard, great training and practice for the little ones and it will teach them patience and the need to be quiet and still.  The basket or a bucket can also be used in a survival situation to catch small animals in the same manner, just know that the target will still be alive and will need to be approached with care.

      Pitfalls or punji pits can also be used. These are simple in design but require a lot of work to make. By digging a hole deep enough and covering it so the target does not see it, they can be lured to the pit or dig it along a trail they travel. The pit must be deep enough and/or lined so the target cannot climb or jump out.  By adding punji stake (sharpened sticks) to the trap, you will injure, maim or kill whatever falls into the trap.  This will help ensure the animal stays but can also become dangerous to unsuspecting people falling into the pit.  These are also dangerous to livestock or pets, so use common sense and care when utilizing these traps.

      Fish traps are also a valuable commodity to use for gathering food. These are normally constructed on site, using natural materials combined with brought items.  By placing obstacles, sticks, rocks, boards, etc, in the waterway, you funnel the fish swimming through at a certain point.  At this point, place a net and anything swimming through will be captured.  You can also use fencing [poultry netting (chicken wire) works best for its pliability and small mesh size).  Form the fencing into a cylindrical shape and fasten it together with cable ties, rope, tie wire, etc.  After gauging the opening size, cut more of the fencing used to form a “funnel” to fit into the opening(s); if only 1 funnel is used, you must form a “wall” on the opposite end to secure the trap.  The funnel needs to extend into the trap about 1/8 – ¼ the length of the cylinder and reduce in size down to an opening that will allow the fish to swim in but not so big they can swim out extremely easy.  The idea is they will have room to swim out, but by have the funnel opening centered in the trap, most fish will miss the opening and not swim out.  You may lose some, but the majority of any fish swimming in will be there when you check your traps.  You can add bait by attaching small bags filled with bait to the fencing.  I like attaching mine to the bottom to get the fish to swim away from the opening of the funnel. A practice trap can be made by cutting a 2 liter pop (soda) bottle off just after it gets to its full size.  By turning this around and inserting it into the body of the bottle with the pour spout inside the bottle, you now have a minnow trap to collect bait. Punch small holes through the bottom of the bottle and sides to allow water to flow through it.  I use a small rod of re-bar to anchor this to the creek bed.  Secure the cut off portion with glue is best, but if the cut is made cleanly it can be held with friction.  Place the opening to the upstream side, so water pressure will build and help hold the top in the bottle body. This will also give a visual of what a bigger trap made from fencing should look like.   This type of trap will also catch crabs, lobster, crawdads and even some small marine mammals.

      Traps can more than pay for themselves on the return of food and even pelts for clothing, pot holders, blankets, etc in a survival situation. There are several books on the subject written by people with a lot more experience than me.  If possible and legal to do so, practice trapping animals before the need arises and your learning curve means whether you and your family eat or not. You can get clips to hold body grip traps in the “set” position on the side of a tree.  Bait the trigger wires with corn or nutmeats, even peanut butter, and squirrels will come to feast on your offering and roasted squirrel or stew is on the menu.  The clips are sold via trapper supply houses for marten and fisher trappers.  The clips can also be improvised out of small pieces of conduit or pipe.  The spring on the body grip trap can have a rope tied to it and secured to a branch so it will swing the trap and your catch away from the tree to keep scavengers from easily stealing your meal.  I carry a few premade snares, two 110 sized body grip traps and 1 #4, four coil trap in my rucksack or in my MOLLE vest.  I also carry heavy weight (60# +) braided fishing line to improvise snares.  I carry lighter weight fishing line for snares for birds or to use as sewing thread to repair clothes or gear. Remember to get repair parts for any traps you have and acquire the skill to repair them.

      Fishing

      There are several articles written, as well as countless books, on the subject of fishing. I will only briefly touch on the subject.  Irecommend using limb lines in a survival fishingsituation. You use a heavy weight line and attach this to a very sturdy branch overhanging or very near the water source.  I prefer one with a little flexibility to allow for the fish to fight without breaking or ripping the hook from its mouth. Limb lines can be utilized using normal store bought hooks or improvising natural materials into something to hold the fish. “Skewer hooks” can be made easily and very quickly, even by a child. You take a piece of wood and sharpen both ends to a dull point.  You can rough up the “barrel” of the wood to help hold the bait or even tie the bait on with string.  You attach the line by tying it around the barrel in the center of the piece of wood.  When the fish swallows the bait and the skewer, it will lodge in its throat or guts, depending on size of fish.  When you pull the line, it will cause the skewer to turn sideways and thus make an extremely strong hold on the fish allowing you to haul it in.  If using limb lines in waters with a large turtle population, they can be used to catch turtles as well, but I would recommend using steel leaders to help keep the turtles from biting the line off.

      Treble hooks work extremely well, but until used for a true survival situation, they are normally illegal, so check your local laws.  You can also cut pantyhose down, tie it around the bait and use it to help keep fish from stealing the bait.  Safety pins and needles can also be used to adapt something from its intended purpose to use as a makeshift hook.  These will not be barbed, so extra care is needed to maintain control over your fish once caught.  I would also recommend buying and using cane poles even during routine fishing outings.  I love my spin cast and bait cast reels coupled with a good rod, but if they break, a branch more closely resembles a cane pole than a $300 rod and reel combo.  Throw nets or casting nets are also valuable in obtaining fish.  These do require practice, but the return can be very rewarding and the difference between a full belly and an empty one. I’d even try and obtain topo maps of the lakes, rivers, streams, etc for the area you will be when the need arises. This will give you bottom structure and locations for optimum limb line locations.

      Hunting

      Several articles have been written and posted on hunting.  This is the method most people plan on obtaining their meat in a survival situation.  Study the animals in your chosen area and learn all you can about their habits, food sources, activity cycles (nocturnal or diurnal), and home (burrows, nests, meadow, water, lodge (muskrat and beaver), etc).  Choose a weapon that will easily take the game animal but not ruin the meat; you do not want to hunt a rabbit with a .308 or a 12 gauge slug.  A .22 long Rifle will take most animals, even deer, with proper shot placement. Using a .22 LR are illegal to take certain game, so read game laws before using in a non survival situation.  If I was able to choose just 1 higher powered rifle, I would choose a .308 Win./7.62mm.  They are available on an AR platform for those who want the self loader or even the battle proven M14 (Springfield’s M1A1).  A bolt action would be fine or even a pump.  The reason I would choose the .308 is several fold; 1)  They are a common caliber and ammunition will be available; 2)  They have much more range and power over the .223/5.56mm, I can hunt medium game like antelope and deer with a .308 but would NOT want to tackle a moose, elk or bear with a .223; 3)  The added firepower will allow me to keep the 2-legged varmints farther out of their preferred range and in the ranges I practiced at before I had to use it.  Optics are also a requirement in my opinion.  A good survival rifle will have open iron sights as a backup, as scopes get broken, but optics allow for a more accurate shot placement when the adage of “every shot counts” is truly “gospel” in a survival situation.  Ammunition can be in very short supply and harvesting that game means you and yours eat is not the time to try shots that you can brag about, the only bragging that needs done will be when you carry in that nice venison haunch.

      Blackpowder weapons will be an excellent choice for a survival weapon if you also gain the knowledge to make your own blackpowder and cast your own lead balls. I would recommend a flintlock over percussion cap. Flint can be picked up in just about every corner of the US. By casting your own lead balls and making blackpowder, you can have a long term firearm to hunt with and conserve your center fire ammunition for real emergencies and self defense. Muzzleloading weapons act and shoot differently than center fire weapons; flintlocks can have a “lag” between the time you pull the trigger and the time the powder actually ignites to propel the ball down the barrel. If you choose to use this type of survival tool, please get one as early as possible and practice to learn the intricacies of this traditional food gatherer.

      Archery equipment, especially the knowledge on how to build self bows such as the Native Americans, would be a great asset. They are quiet, can take a multitude of game, can be replaced (if capable of making them) and arrows can be made also. Their use will save ammunition for self defense and extremely dangerous game (bears, mountain lions, wolves, feral dogs, etc).

      Do not underestimate the power and ability of a slingshot to put dinner on the table.  It is easy to find ammunition; any rock will do and are perfect for the younger hunters.  They are quiet and capable hunters, especially when using lead round balls. They are modestly priced and found at almost every discount and department store. You can “store” vast amounts ammo for it and nobody be the wiser; just do some landscaping and use river rock instead of mulch.

      Regardless of equipment and tactics, make sure you get as close as possible and take the sure shot.  Those nice antlers only mean you can make another tool, while does and yearlings usually have more tender meat and are an easier quarry.  Always choose the sure shot.  Other uncommon tools for hunting include, spears, air guns,boomerangs/throwing sticks, and even a bolo. The biggest thing is to practice with whatever method(s) you choose so as to be an expert in their use as there is NO substitution for knowledge about your intended game animal(s).

      Gathering

      Gathering wild edibles will greatly enhance your meals and chance of survival. Several books are written and a must have at least in the survival retreat or Bug Out Location (BOL).  I would also find a small one to keep in your Bug Out Bag (BOB) like the book from  Judy of the Woods.  Sassafras root makes a good tea and even chewing the leaves will cause saliva to be generated to help reduce thirst or just give you peace of mind from food, similar to chewing gum. Cattails are one of nature’s greatest survival gifts. You can eat the young shoots, the roots are like a potato, and even the seed (the part on top that gets to looking like a dusty corn cob) is a great flour additive, added to stew or can be eaten on its own.  Some other plants to learn and know are: Solomon’s Seal, May Apple, wild berries, any nut tree, pine needles (for tea), pine cones for pine nuts (place a “closed” pine cone near a fire and they will “open” to obtain the nuts/seeds inside), birch sap (can be made into a great syrup for your acorn pancakes), wild mint, swamp cabbage palm in the southern swamps, fish eggs, mushrooms, etc. These items are edible in whole or in part and will provide extra flavor and much needed calories in an emergency.  Please read books or find someone who can give precise instructions on edible plants and try them before it becomes necessary.

      Remember, all bird eggs are edible; many are small but they will provide calories and much needed nutrients.  Eggs dipped in wax can be held up to a month without refrigeration or spoilage. That little extra bird feed and the bird houses while times are good; could be a bountiful investment for when times get bad.  I would also recommend books on wild herbs to help with the seasoning of food and natural medicine once the pharmacy is looted.

      Gardening

      Gardening has been covered in depth, so I will only add to the obvious benefit of growing food, the garden plot will bring in wild game to trap or hunt.  Also, planting fruit trees in advance will supply fresh fruit to the diet and animals will travel long distance to eat a sweet dessert like an apple.  This will bring the game to you and thus reduce risk and visibility by having to venture further and further from your secure location.  I would also think about establishing a pond for fish farming and if the space is available, digging deep ditches for irrigation and drawing animals for water.  Dams can be used to control water depth.

      Also, if able, a greenhouse will allow year round growing. You can add bee hives to the greenhouse and the bees will pollinate the crops and give you a natural sweetener. Honey also has many medicinal uses and when the going gets rough and many comfort items are no longer available, who wouldn’t want something sweet to help boost morale?

      Livestock

      Raising livestock is also important, but does require land to use as pasture.  Goats would be a prime animal, they will supply meat, milk and depending on the breed, wool to make cloth from.  This all takes more knowledge and land, which some of us may or may not have.  Poultry will help eat bugs in the garden, supply meat and eggs, act as an alarm system (geese and guineas), eat weeds from the garden (geese), and can supply down for quilts if the situation turns into a truly long term event.

      These are but suggestions to stimulate ideas and comments from others to bring a more balanced and as close to full thought process on the subject of feeding ourselves in the worst of times.  Everyone’s location and access to land and other resources will dictate how we must personalize any ideas to meet our needs, abilities, and resources; not all can afford to dig ditches and a pond or have the land to do so.  I hope I have helped some or maybe caused others to think in a direction they had not thought of.  My purpose is to give basics to those who are starting, maybe add some insight to those who have not been able to experience some of these skills, and caused the experienced to share their ideas or knowledge in comments of things they have actually tried or even heard of so the group gains the knowledge to try or research tricks or skill sets that will help them survive.

      Summary

      I have eaten ground hog, raccoon, snake, fish, alligator, squirrel, rabbit, beaver, muskrat, crawdad, crabs, lobster, wild boar, deer, moose, elk, bear and even a rat to cover most of my vittles in the past.  Those who hunt, try carrying your day-pack and other gear (where legal) while doing so. This will allow you to see how it affects your shooting and whether the game animal will be spooked by what you have.  Sound is your enemy, so tie everything down secure.   When squirrel hunting, I wear my MOLLE vest, carry my emergency survival gear and a sidearm (especially handy because of the feral dog problem). I hunt with either a 22 LR rifle (normal) or pellet gun.  This allows me to continually improve my ability to move quietly through the woods while wearing the extra gear I will have when the situation(s) we prep for become a reality.  Also, if you have them, take the kids; the younger the better.  They will learn to move quietly and be still, get satisfaction in knowing they helped “earn” their dinner and it creates a bond not easily broken.  If you find it difficult to be patient with them when only a successful hunt is on the line; how will you react when the very meal you MUST have is cost?  Each child is different and will handle the experience differently. You must decide when they are ready to see an animal harvested and then again when they are ready to witness the butchering process.  I prefer skinning and gutting my game in the field, innards stink when in your garbage at home, but in the survival situation, they become bait for traps or fishing.  Animal stomachs, turned inside out and washed very thoroughly, make excellent pouches and/or water bags.  Learn to skin the game as cleanly and whole as possible to save the pelt.  Rabbit fur is soft and works well for mittens, ear muffs, etc; ground hog hide is extremely tough and makes good leather lace.

      Posted on Leave a comment

      DIY Portable Bucket Air Conditioner

      portable-ac

      If you had to come up with a top 10 list of uncomfortable situations, being stuck inside on a hot day without air conditioning is probably on there. Having a fan blowing hot air around is little relief, but you can take that same fan and turn it into a portable AC unit with only a few additional supplies. This portable bucket air conditioner can easily and cheaply be put together and serve as a personal cooling device making life a little more comfortable.

      Things You’ll Need

      • 5 gallon bucket
      • Styrofoam inner bucket (minnow bucket)
      • 1 1/4-inch PVC, about 12 inches
      • 1 5/8-inch hole saw
      • 7-inch portable fan
      • Utility knife
      • Gallon jug of water, frozen

      Supplies for this project are cheap and readily available. Five gallon buckets can often be recycled from painters or bakeries. Making these devices and distributing them to those in need would be a great community service project during the hot summer months. Some people without air conditioning, especially the elderly, can be extremely vulnerable in hot weather.

      portable-ac-2

      Set the fan upside down on the lid of the bucket and trace the outline.

      portable-ac-3

      Using a utility knife and being very careful, cut along the traced line. Cut slowly using a sawing motion. You might need to trim slightly to get a good fit with the fan.

      Note: If the lid is made with thick, rigid plastic, it might be easier and safer to cut the hole with a jigsaw and fine-tooth blade, a rotary tool or a fine-tooth keyhole saw. Make a starter hole for inserting the saw blade by drilling just inside the marked outline with a 1/2-inch bit.

      portable-ac-4

      Depending on the type of fan you are using, it might be necessary to cut away supports or stands. A hacksaw works well for this.

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      Fit the fan into the cut hole and set aside.

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      Clamp or hold the bucket securely and drill three holes in the side of the bucket with the hole saw or Forstner bit.

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      Cut the PVC pipe into three pieces about 3 to 4 inches in length. A hacksaw works well for this.

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      The Surprising Benefits of Honey

      surprising-benefit-of-honey

      Throughout history honey has been considered a food with unparalleled nutritional and physical benefits. For over 10,000 years (and maybe more) honey has been used as a staple food and as a medicine. This deliciously sweet substance is one of the few foods that can actually sustain human life all by itself. If you’re not already storing honey as part of your survival strategy, learning about all the surprising benefits of honey ought to convince you to start.

      Storage

      Honey lasts forever; if stored properly you will never need to worry about your honey going bad, forget about FIFO with honey. There was actually edible honey discovered in the pharaoh’s tomb in Egypt. It is also a healthy substitute for sugar that contains no fats or cholesterol.

      My honey is hard and crystallized!

      Not to worry, if your honey has become crystallized all you need to do is heat it to return it back to normal. Or if you like, turn it into mead!

      Health

      Skin

      Honey is great for overall skin health and can even help to reduce wrinkles and nourish the skin.

      Antibacterial

      Honey has been used as an antiseptic for years, it was even one of the most popular treatments for wounds in the First World War. Recent science has explained to us why honey is such an effective antibacterial agent.

      One New Zealand researcher says a particular type of honey may be useful in treating MRSA infections. Antibacterial properties of honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect, and high acidity. 

      Wounds

      Honey has also been shown to reduce odor, swelling and scarring when used to treat wounds, aside from its antibacterial effects.

      Stomach Ache

      Got a stomach ache? No problem, mix one teaspoon of honey with a hot glass of water, squeeze in about half a lemon and your stomach ache should go away.

      Pink Eye

      While it has only been proven in rats, honey was considered an effective treatment for conjunctivitis.

      Allergies

      Folk medicine suggests that taking local honey will help your allergies because you gain a tolerance to local pollens. Recent studies suggest that while it doesn’t help by eliminating allergies it helps reduce allergies.

      a recent study has shown pollen collected by bees to exert an anti allergenic effect, mediated by an inhibition of IgE immunoglobulin binding to mast cells. This inhibited mast cell degranulation and thus reduced allergic reaction.

      Coughs

      Honey coats the throat, making it great for a sore throat. To cure your sore throat simply take about 1 teaspoon of honey and let it slowly trickle down your throat.

      Burns

      Honey is also great for burns since it removes the pain and helps aid in the healing process.

      Colitis

      Honey is shown to reduce the damage done to the colon in Colitis.

      Insomnia

      Some studies suggest that honey can also help with various nervous disorders such as insomnia. If you can’t sleep, mix 1 teaspoon of honey into a warm glass of water and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

      **Because of the spores contained in honey, infants under the age of 1 year cannot consume it. While it’s fine for older children and adults, infants under 1 year can contract botulism from honey

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      7 Great Inexpensive Places to Buy Prepper Gear

      inexpensive-places-to-buy-prepper-l

      It is true that if you buy cheap you buy twice.  However, I still believe that you are able to find good deals on prepper gear without sacrificing quality.  It is just a matter of identifying these places.

      If you are like me you are probably prepping on a budget.  With the prepper gear market growing we are starting to see some increase in prices.  With that being said, in my search to find prepper gear I have identified a few inexpensive places.

      7 great inexpensive places to buy prepper gear

      1.  Pawn shops

      Pawn shops are the ideal places to find inexpensive prepper gear.  Many times the items that you find at a pawn shop are only there because the owners had found themselves in between a rock and a hard place.  So it’s not that the items weren’t of great quality.

      On the contrary, many pawn shops will not purchase items that do not have great quality.  Without quality items pawn shops are not able to make an extra dollar.  So they are sure to inspect much of the equipment that is being pawned or sold to them.

      Still you will want to inspect the items before purchasing.  There will be some shady pawn dealers who are just looking to make a fast buck and will swindle you.  This is especially important if you are purchasing guns.  You will want to make sure that the gun is functioning properly and safely.

      Some of the great prepper gear that you can find at pawn shops include weapons, tools and hunting gear.  It is important to have a great set of tools.  If the grid goes down or if the crap hits the fan there will be no one else around to fix stuff besides you.

      2.  Thrift shops

      Thrift shops many times will have some great quality items to purchase.  Prepper gear that you can find include grey man clothing, radios and even camping gear.  Furthermore, most of these items were donated by well off people who barely used them.

      3.  Military Surplus

      Many cities will have a military surplus shop.  Unfortunately most of these shops are found in the bad parts of town.  However, it is definitely worth the trip.

      Some of the great prepper gear items that you can find at military surplus shops include military grade clothing, equipment and camping gear.  When bugging out I don’t recommend wearing camo in the urban environments.  However, if you do make it to the woods you could change into something that will help you blend in with the environment.  Military clothing is also built to last.

      4.  Yard Sales

      Most items being sold at a yard sale have great quality.  Many times families are just looking to clear out their closets with items that they don’t really use anymore or have replaced.  So yard sales are the perfect place to find inexpensive prepper gear.

      Great items that you can find at yard sales include clothing, camping gear, food and even coins.  If you look carefully into these coins you can find some valuable treasure.  This is especially true with finding silver. Silver should be saved because if the economy collapses or if crap hits the fan the price of silver will grow exponentially.  If you take a look at the financial struggles of 2001 and 2008 you will see the price of precious metals more than doubled.

      5.  Facebook groups

      Now Facebook groups are a great place to find prepper gear but you should be cautious about these transactions.  I have heard of people being scammed and even stood up.  On the other hand I know of some people that have bought some really great gear.

      There are Facebook groups for virtual yard sales, prepper swaps and even private gun sales.  Many times you will find “preppers” who are giving up on prepping or giving up the lifestyle.  So they turn to online outlets to sell their gear for the cheap.  I would advise meeting with these people in public well lit places.  Also, never go alone.

      6.  Craigslist

      Just as the previous tip, you want to be very cautious when making exchanges with people over Craigslist.  There have been cases where people have been kidnapped and even murder.  At the same time, I have made some great purchases through Craigslist as well.  I would use the same advice from the previous suggestion.

      7.  Auctions

      Finally auctions are a really great place to find inexpensive prepper gear.  I know of one prepper who found some really great deals on guns and ammo at auctions.  As a matter of fact, there was a prepper who died but had an arsenal prepper gear that was auctioned off.  It just so happened another prepper purchased that gear.

      So these 7 places are really great for finding inexpensive prepper gear.  If you have another other suggestions please leave a comment below.  I would love to find some additional places.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my email list so that you can stay up to date with all of the newest content.

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      8 Life-Saving Survival Uses For Basic, Ordinary Dental Floss

      dental-floss-for-survival

      While packing your survival kit, weight is a major concern. Fortunately, you can lighten the load significantly by carrying small and lightweight but very versatile items that fulfill a number of different survival purposes. Dental floss is one of those items. After reading this article, you’ll hopefully feel compelled to include at least a couple of packs of dental floss in your kit.

      Here are nine important survival uses for dental floss:

      1. Tripwire. Wrap a few strands of dental floss together to make it tighter, and then string it around some trees at about knee height. The thinness of the floss should cause it to blend in nicely, and any intruders who try to invade your area will be in for a surprise.

      2. Stitches. A second medical application for dental floss is to use it to stitch. Open wounds are a major threat in any survival situation, and it’s important that you close the wound off after you’ve stopped the bleeding with a tourniquet. Dental floss can do the trick.

      3. Clothesline. If you string dental floss between two separate trees, it can be used as a clothesline for lighter articles of clothing such as socks and light shirts. It is possible for it to hold up heavier articles of clothing such as jackets or pants, but only as long as you wrap multiple strands of it tightly together.

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      4. Spear making. Dental floss can be used to tie your knife around a pole or branch to make a spear for hunting, fishing and self-defense purposes.

      5. Fishing line. Since we just mentioned fishing, there’s another fishing purpose that dental floss fulfills as well: making a fishing pole. You can craft together an entire DIY fishing pole out of nothing more than a suitable branch, dental floss and a soda can tab for the fishing hook. At that point, all you need is the bait!

      6. Rope. If you wrap multiple strands of dental floss tightly together, it will create a thin rope that can do almost anything rope can do. For example, sealing garbage bags and hanging items.

      7. Shoelaces. It will be a real bummer if your shoelaces ever break while you’re out in the woods, but threaded dental floss is a near-perfect temporary solution that will work until you get replacement shoelaces.

      8. Sewing. Last but certainly not least, a needle and floss can be used for nearly any kind of a sewing application. Whether it’s stitching ripped clothing back together, fashioning mosquito netting, or repairing tents or blankets, dental floss will be more than up to the task.

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      How to find and use soap plants

      soap-plants

      As functional members of our modern society, we are somehow accustomed to take things for granted and we become dependent of stores and the items we buy. Soap is one of the many items that we take for granted and if stores would stop selling this item tomorrow, we would have no clue how to make do without it. Luckily for us, there are soap plants that we can use as substitute when soap runs out. Sanitation will become an important task during a crisis scenario and although you may have stockpiled enough soap to last you for a lifetime, it is always better to learn about the alternatives we have. Learning how to make soap is a skill that will come in handy and it will help you stay clean when stores will close. However, in today’s article I will share some of my knowledge regarding a natural, cost free alternative; the soap plants that can be found in the wild!

      Interacting with nature and using all its resources is an important aspect of preparedness and off-grid living. If you are familiar with this site, you’ve probably noticed by now that I encourage people to get back into nature and learn about foraging and every other skill that will help them survive when our modern society will collapse. Foraging for wild plants is a forgotten skill that will prove very useful if you are forced to leave your home and head for the woods. Nature provides all sorts of plants that can help you survive and thrive in a harsh environment. Besides the medicinal plants and the wild edibles, there are quite a few plants that contain saponins (steroids that dissolve in water and create a stable froth). These plants will help you stay clean when exploring the great the outdoors.

      Most of the soap plants that you can find in the wild were used by the Native Americans and the first pioneers. Although they are different from the old fashioned soap that your grandma used to make on the farm, these plants work just as well and they are a great substitute for the traditional soaps.

      Some of the soap plants listed in this article are found everywhere in the wild and they can be prepared very easily.

      Soap plants – Yucca (Yucca spp.)

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      Yucca is one of the soap plants used by the Native Americans and there are numerous species of yucca spread throughout the plains and western States. This is one of the arid edibles I wrote about in a previous article and it is very easy to identify it. The plant produces a stemless cluster of long, rigid leaves which end in a sharp point. The leaves are 8 to 35 inches long and have a gray-green color. This is a versatile plant and the Native Americans used it extensively for various purposes. Besides being used for soap, the plant produces several good foods, quality fiber that was used to make sandals. It was also used as tinder and it helped improvising carrying cases or quivers from the mature, hollowed-out flower stalks.

      Although many prefer to use the root to make soap, digging up the root is an intense labor and you may even get fined for doing so because some Yucca species are listed as endangered. To make soap easily you can cut the leaves (even one would do) and strip them into fibers until you have a handful of very thin strands. Add water and agitate between your hands until soap forms. You will need to pay attention when cutting the lives because you can hurt yourself with the sharp tips or you can slice your fingers on the edges of the leaf. Make sure you snip off the sharp tip before you strip the leaves. Yucca soap has extremely good cleansing properties and the leaf fiber helps in scrubbing. It provides medium to rich lather depending on the species, but since the leaves are available year-round and the plant is widespread it makes Yucca one of the soap plants that can be used the most.

      Soap plants – Mountain Lilac (Ceanothus spp.)

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      This plant is also known as soap bush and there are over 50 species of shrubs or small shrub trees. Most of the species are confined to North America. The soap bush is common throughout the southwest and if you go hiking in the spring, you will notice a spot of white, blue or purple along the trail and on the hillside. Many species can be used as soap plants even though their botanical properties will sometimes be different. To make sure you have mountain lilac that can be used as soap you can do a simple test. Take a handful of blossoms, add water and rub them between the hands. If you get a rich lather with a mild aroma, you got the right plant! The plant will lose its flowers early summer and it will form some sticky green fruits. Don’t worry if you missed the flowering period of the mountain lilac because the fruits can also be used to make soap. The early pioneers used to dry the fruits and used them for soap when needed. If you decide to dry the fruits and store them for later use, you must know that the fruits will get very hard and you will need to ground them into a fine powder before using it as soap. Once you have the powder, add water and rub vigorously. The soap doesn’t have the same quality as the one made from the fresh fruits, but it is a good alternative when nothing else is available. Mountain lilac has good cleansing properties and it’s worth traveling to the difficult terrain to collect its flowers and fruits.

      Soap plants – Soaproot (Blitum californicum)

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      This is a plant that was used by the Native Americans both as medicine and as a food source. The leaves of soaproot can be cooked, drained and used as you would use spinach. This is often confused with lamb’s quarter by many foragers, but if you pay attention, you can notice that soaproot has a large taproot. This is the part that can be used to make soap and it is often similar to a ginseng root or an overgrown carrot. Getting the root requires some effort and in hard soil it can be a foot deep, making it impossible to be harvested without a good shovel. The first pioneers learned to make soap from the Native Americans and they used to preserve the root in a dark, cold place for later use. In order to make soap you will need to grate the root with a sharp knife. Add water and rub between the hands to obtain a soap that many consider superior to store-bought soaps. The taproot produces a frothy lather that has very good cleansing properties. This plant is harder to find since most of those who know about its cleaning properties would take entire taproots and store them for later use. It can be found only in isolated patches and if you plan to use Soaproot, make sure you only use small taproots and leave the rest.

      Soap plants – Amole (Chloroglaum pmeridianum)

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      Amole is widespread plant that is part of the lily family and it can be identified easily due to its long liner leaves growing from the base of the plant. It develops flowers on a long stem and it grows a large brown bulb. To reach the bulb, which is the part used for making soap, you will sometimes have to dig down up to a foot deep. The bulb is usually covered in layers of brown fibers and you will need to remove these fibers until you reach the white bulb. The white bulb is stick and has many layers, just like an onion. You can take some of these layers, add water and agitate between your hands. As a result, you will obtain a rich lather that can be used for any sanitation operation you might need. You can use it to take a bath, to wash your hair and even to clean your clothes. You can also dry the bulb for later use, but just like for all other soap plants, the soap made from the fresh parts is far superior. The bulbous root of the Amole plant can be dug year-round if you know where to look for it. In the fall the plant is dormant and although it is widespread in various areas, it will be harder to find compared to the other soap plants.

      Soap plants – Buffalo Gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima)

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      This plant can be found in the central and southwestern United States and northern Mexico and it even grows in urban vacant lots. Some people know it by the name of coyote melon and based on its form, you can notice that it is a relative of squash and pumpkins. The Native Americans used the plant as rattles, but also as soap to for washing clothes. In order to make soap, they used the tender growing tips or the leaves of the plant. Adding water and agitating between the hands will result in a green frothy lather that has satisfactory cleansing proprieties. If you decide to use buffalo gourd to make soap, you have to handle the leaves with care as they are covered with tiny rigid spines. These tiny hairs are known to cause irritation to the skin for some people and many survivalists will use this soap plant as a last resort.

      Soap plants – Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis)

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      Many people know this plant as soapweed or crow soap and it is widely available since many gardeners will plant it for its pink flowers. This is an introduced plant and it is mostly used by European countries as soap substitute.  Although the leaves and the roots can be used, it is much easier to use the leaves since it will also help maintain the plant alive. There are various ways you can use the leaves to make soap. You can agitate the fresh leaves between your hands with water or you can boil them to produce a lather liquid that has the ability to dissolve fats or grease. Take a handful of fresh leaves, bruise and chop them for 30 minutes in 1 pint of water. Strain the liquid and use it as you would use liquid soap. This plant has satisfactory cleansing proprieties and it is a good alternative if it grows abundantly in your area. You can plant it in your off-grid garden as a useful ornamental and use it as soap substitute year round if no snow has fallen.

      Soap plants are just another proof that Mother Nature will take care of your needs and it can provide you with viable alternatives to commercial products. The plants listed in this article will help you stay clean when your soap supplies run out and this is knowledge worth knowing.

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      Defense

      defense

      Firearms must be an integral part of any survival and preparedness system.

       

      Why? The reason is simple.

       

      Consider a solar flare or EMP attack which causes most all electronics to fail-

       

      The power grid is down. Communication methods do not work. All businesses are closed. No method for pumping gas. Groceries cannot be purchased. Medical prescriptions will not be filled. Most automobiles won’t start. No TV. No drive thru’s. No calling your loved ones on your cell phone. No going to work. No running up to the corner store for a gallon of milk and loaf of bread. Life as you know it has ended.

       

      How are people going to deal with this situation? Within hours panic will set in as no one will know what happened. People will be displaced from their homes with few methods of traveling other than to walk. Within days food, water, and medical supplies will start to run out and desperation will set in. It is a cold hard fact that people who are not prepared will either die or more likely they will look to take from others. Guess who “others”is. It is you and you must be prepared to protect your supplies and your family.

       

      Survival situations vary widely as to conditions, threat level, environmental specifics and longevity. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005 gangs of looters violently rampaged throughout New Orleans– even in broad daylight. Armed robberies and even sniper fire went on for days and gunfire could be heard throughout the city. The point is that in any serious situation – predators will take advantage and violence will spread.

       

      Due to the unfortunate fact that no one knows what the future holds or what type of situation one may find themselves in – I approach the structure of a survival battery with diversity and flexibility in mind. It is a requirement for a battery of firearms to be able to function successfully in as many situations as possible. For the rest of this article – this is a given.

       

       

      My preparedness philosophy regarding firearms and selection may not work for everyone. Firearms are a very personal thing to most people. What follows is a general recommended structure for building a survival battery.

       

      1. Semi-Automatic Rifle/Carbine – Used for ranges short (0 yards) to medium (150 yards+) depending upon specific model and caliber.

       

      Required characteristics:

       

        • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
        • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit targets effectively out to 150+ yards with either open sights or optics
        • High Magazine Capacity – minimum 15 round magazine capacity with a preference for 20-30 rounds
        • Quick Handling – A long gun is not nearly as maneuverable as a short gun. For moving though tight spaces, room to room, and getting in and out of a vehicle – shorter firearms make such tasks easier.
        • Lightweight – The lighter the weight the less effort needed to carry it around.

       

      Preferred Model: Stag Arms Model 2 5.56mm M4-variant

       

       

      Having owned the Stag Arms Model 2L pictured above for 3 years I have found it to be extremely reliable and accurate. My preferred firearm for this category would be any quality AR-15/M4-type weapon. I prefer the AR-platform of weapons as it has a proven track record of reliability and performance. Another advantage to the AR is the availability of many accessories available so each firearm can be tuned to fit its owner. Quality high capacity magazines are very plentiful and as of this writing are very inexpensive (due to varying political climates this could change at any time).

       

      Largest drawback for the AR-type firearm is the lower powered cartridge,which limits its range, and the cost of the firearm itself. AR variants are not inexpensive.

       

       

      Alternative #1: Ruger Mini-14

       

      A very popular and capable semi-automatic firearm is the Ruger Mini-14. Costing a few hundred dollars less than most any AR-variant the Mini-14 is reliable (with proper magazine selection) and with some recent manufacturing improvements very accurate. The Mini-14 fires the .223 Remington cartridge which is nearly identical to the AR’s 5.56mm round.

       

       

      defense-2

       

       

      Alternative #2: AK-47 variant

       

      The AK-47 is very popular and has an exceptional track record of reliability in most any condition found on the planet. Firing the 7.62x 39 mm cartridge – the AK edges out the AR platform in the power category. The AK-47 is worthy of consideration when looking to purchase a semi-automatic rifle/carbine.

       

       

       

      1. Pistol – Used for short range situations such as house clearing and when a long gun is not available. Generally carried on the hip ready to be accessed when needed. Allows hands to be free and still be armed.

       

       

      Required characteristics:

       

        • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
        • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit targets effectively out to a maximum range of 25-30 yards
        • High Magazine Capacity – minimum 10 round magazine capacity with a preference for 12-17 rounds
        • Quick Handling – For moving though tight spaces, room to room, and getting in and out of a vehicle – pistols are excellent.
        • Lightweight – The lighter the weight the less effort will need to be made to carry it around – and the quicker the pistol can be moved into position.

       

      Preferred Model: Smith & Wesson M&P9 9 mm semi-automatic pistol

       

      The Smith & Wesson M&P9 9 mm is a fantastic pistol. Extremely reliable and superbly accurate – the M&P is an excellent choice for a sidearm. The ergonomics are fantastic and recoil is negligible. Trigger pull is better than acceptable and quick follow up shots are easy. 17 rounds of 9 mm are held in each magazine. Cost is in right in line with other polymer framed combat pistols.

       

      Alternatives: Pistols are very much like cars – everyone has their personal preference and this is one of the reasons there are so many to choose from. There are many reliable quality pistols on the market today. Most any of them would do just fine as a defensive pistol.

       

      A few that fit my requirements are as follows:

       

      • Glock Model 17
      • SpringfieldXD9
      • Ruger SR9
      • FN FNP 9
      • Taurus 24/7

       

       

       

      1. Shotgun – Meant for short ranges from point blank to 25-30 yards. Shotguns can fire shells of different load types for different purposes. Due to the ability to fill many roles – the shotgun is often looked at as the most important and versatile piece in a survival battery.

       

       

      Required characteristics:

       

        • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds
           without disruption
        • Full Cylinder Bore – This means no choke on the end of the barrel.
        • Magazine Capacity – minimum of 5 rounds in the tube
        • Quick Handling – 18” – 20” barrel maximum length and full stock only – no pistol grip stocks.

       

      Preferred Model: Remington 870 Express Tactical 12 gauge Pump-Action

       

      The Remington 870 is one of the most popular shotguns in the world and is used extensively for purposes such as hunting, sport/target shooting, and self-defense. The 870 is a shotgun with a proven track record of reliability and performance second to no other.  Alternatives: Mossberg 500

       

       

       

      The Mossberg 500 carries an excellent reputation for performance and value. Available in many different models – the Mossberg 500 can be purchased with a multitude of options and due to high aftermarket support can be outfitted to fit each owners needs.

        

       

       

      1. Bolt Action/Long Range Rifle – For engaging targets out to 300 yards and beyond. Excellent for hunting large game.

       

      Required characteristics:

       

        • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
        • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit targets effectively out to 300+ yards
        • Caliber –  .308 Winchester

       

      Preferred Model: No preference

       

       

      There are so many great bolt action rifles like the Winchester Model 70 pictured above – can’t pick just one. Ruger, Marlin, Savage, Mossberg, and Remington all make rifles of varying prices and each carrying unique features of their own.

       

      Prices for these quality firearms can vary from just a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand. Budget-minded folks can buy a bolt action .308 with a scope for under $400 and be able to hit a gallon milk jug at 200-300 yards.

       

       

       

      1. Utility Firearm – Versatile firearm to be used for training, harvesting small game, potential – but not recommended – for self defense.

       

      Required characteristics:

       

        • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
        • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit small targets effectively out to 100 yards with either open sights or optics
        • Magazine Capacity – minimum 10 round magazine capacity with a preference for 20-30 rounds
        • Lightweight – The lighter the weight the less effort will need to be made to carry it around.

       

      Preferred Model: Ruger 10/22 .22LR Semi-Auto Carbine

       

       

      The Ruger 10/22 is arguably the most popular rim fire rifle ever sold. With its rotary 10-round magazine this carbine can fire literally thousands of rounds without experiencing failures of any kind (proper cleaning needed of course). A proven firearm – the 10/22 has good accuracy and due to tremendous aftermarket support can be accessorized per the owners requirements.

       

      Alternatives: Although there are several very good rim fire carbines and rifles on the market made by major gun manufacturers – the Ruger 10/22 in my opinion is inexpensive, ultra-reliable, accurate and fills the role of “Utility Firearm” like no other. You can’t go wrong with the Ruger.

        

      These have been my recommendations for a basic survival battery. As already stated – not everyone will agree with it nor will it work for everyone. Folks living in the city will certainly require a different composition to their battery than those living in rural or country areas. This should serve as a basic guideline to assist in developing your own survival battery.

        

      A few random thoughts on building a survival battery:

       

      • Safety, safety, safety – Common sense I know but when dealing with firearms that have no compassion for you or your family – the person behind the trigger must. If unfamiliar with firearms – take a course and learn to handle your firearms appropriately and responsibly.

       

      • Ammunition – A rifle without ammunition is a very expensive and poorly made “club”. Find what ammunition your firearm likes (reliability and accuracy) and stock up on at least a few thousand rounds of each caliber for each firearm.

       

      • Magazines – Several spare magazines should be purchased for every single magazine-fed firearm in your survival battery. Factory magazines are often the most reliable however some aftermarket models work extremely well. Research your particular weapon to determine what to buy. Regardless – stock up as many as you can afford as what you have may be all you can get should a serious situation develop.

       

      • Take care of your firearms – After each use each firearm needs to be cleaned and lubricated. The better you take care of them – the more likely they will work to take care of you. Cleaning kits can be found at any local gun shop or purchased online very inexpensively.

       

      • Optics – Make sure you can shoot each firearm accurately prior to placing any optic on it. Optics such as red dot sights and scopes are great – but they can fail. Should your optics fail – be ready to use standard open sights.

       

      • Equipping members of your group – Assuming a survival battery of firearms are meant for more than just one person – how should each person be armed? One pistol and one long gun is my suggestion.

       

       

      Remember……gun control is being able to hit your target!

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      Food/Water

      First – Why store food? There are many reasons why it is beneficial to store extra food. Numerous life events can impact the ability to provide for your family. These events can include unemployment, inflation, sudden unexpected expenses, and of course some catastrophic disaster (man-made or natural). The bottom line is – you will always need food. Period.

      What follows willfocus on short-term, medium-to-long term, and long-term food storage options.

      Getting started: Short-term food storage

      Much of what sits in your cupboards and pantry right now are foods that can be stored for the short-term (3 months to 2 years). If you are beginning a food storage program – the bulk of your food should sit in this category. There is a saying – “Store what you eat and eat what you store.”I am a big believer in this as common everyday foods – compared to many specialty long-term foods – are relatively inexpensive and readily available at your local grocery store.

      Virtual grocery store trip – Since I can’t go to your local grocery store with you – I went to mine and snapped a few photo’s (and received some very strange looks!). The purpose of this was to show you some food storage items that are available and inexpensive.

      One note on shelf life: I will be discussing shelf life in terms seen on the packaging of the food. My experience as well as numerous others is that the actual shelf life of most food is MUCH longer that indicated on the packaging. With today’s lawsuit friendly environment as well as to increase sales – expiration dates are very conservative.

       

      Soup

       Soup.  Does the body good. Right?

      Canned soup has been a mainstay of family pantries for decades. Relatively inexpensive and having a pretty good shelf life (2-3 or more years). One great thing about soups is the huge variety of flavors. Bean & Bacon is my personal favorite from Campbell’s – but there are probably more than 50 varieties to choose from.

      I typically stock up on Campbell’s Chicken Noodle and Tomato for as little as .20 cents a can when bought on sale and also using coupons.

      This is a excellent place to take your shopping cart first during our virtual shopping trip.

       

      Stuffing…..great side dish and decent shelf life

       Side Dish. Stuffing isn’t just for Thanksgiving! These dry boxes of stuffing store well as long as they are kept in a location where critters cannot reach them. Shelf life is usually around 1 year. Dry stuffing requires the addition of a little water to prepare and then heating. Excellent to add variety to your “Store what you eat and eat what you store” program.

      Next.

      Coffee!!!!!!!A great morale booster and barter item

      Coffee.Who could forget coffee. I could because I hate the stuff but I know that most everyone can’t get their day started without it. Excellent barter item and morale booster. Coffee can be purchased on sale and using coupons very inexpensively. Shelf life should be literally forever.

      Throw a few in your shopping cart.

      Canned Pasta

      Pasta. Pasta is a great source of carbohydrates which provide energy. Canned pasta comes ready to eat right out of the can. Like other canned foods – shelf life is around a couple of years. Often can be bought on sale and using coupons to maximize savings.

      Moving on.

      Beef Stew, SPAM, and canned Ham…….oh my!

      Beef Stew, SPAM, and Canned HAM!!

      Solid ingredients to a well rounded food storage program right here on these shelves. These items are a little pricier however this is where protein comes in (and a whole lot of salt with the SPAM). Beef stew contains a many ingredients to add variety to your post-SHTF diet. Shelf life similar to soup. SPAM is one “kinda-meat-like” substance that can store for many year. Of course a canned ham would be a welcome addition to the dinner table deep into a grid-down situation. Shelf life for canned ham is several years – minimum.

      Just imagine – many people struggling to figure out what they will be eating after SHTF, and pop open a canned ham. Feel bad for them…..don’t be one of them.

      Start filling that cart up here……

      More soup – such a huge variety…..

      More soup. Ok…..I got lost and ended up back at the soup. Just look at this……more and more soup of all kinds of flavors and varieties. Especially in colder climates – soup is a welcome meal when it is cold out.

      Go ahead…..you know you want to….throw a few more cans in the cart. (Don’t dent them!)

      Hormel Compleats Meals……poor man’s MRE

      Hormel Compleats. These are great as they are all pre-cooked and taste very good. These meals come in a plastic tray with some type of thick Mylar top. Often referred to as a poor-mans MRE as it does come Ready to Eat. These cost around $2.00 each – cheaper with coupons.

      Stack ‘em up….

      Canned Chicken

      Canned Chicken. There are not that many sources for storage-grade meat from the grocery store. Canned chicken (as well as tuna) is one of them. Not very cheap – but stores well and would be very valuable when food sources are scarce.

      Add some to your cart……..

      Beans, beans………and more beans

      Dried Beans. Dried beans are super cheap and very versatile. There are so many things you can do with beans. Years ago beans used to be called the “poor mans meat”. They are high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and contains protein as well. Do some research on bean storage and recipes – you will be happy.

      Stack ‘em high!!

      Rice…..a food storage basic

      Rice. Combining rice and beans in a meal provide a “complete protein”. Rice, like beans, is very inexpensive. Buy it and store it in bulk. There is a tremendous amount of ways that rice can be prepared. This one food can and should be a major part of your food storage program. Shelf life? If properly stored – forever.

      Load up about 20 pounds right now in your shopping cart……

      Canned Beans

      Canned beans. One of my favorite foods. I love to open up a can of Bush’s Baked Beans. Good shelf life (2+ years) and inexpensive considering the amount you receive in a can.

      Stock up…….you can’t have too much.

      Ramen Noodles…..gotta have ’em

      Ramen Noodles.A common food item discussed in preparedness forums. Ramen Noodles are popular due to their lightweight, decent taste, and very very inexpensive. These do require a decent amount of water to prepare. Cost runs less than .25 cents per serving. Shelf Life? If properly stored more than 2 years.

      Get another shopping cart and fill it up with just Ramen Noodles.

      Instant Potatoes

      Instant Potatoes. Potatoes have to be one of the most used and consumed foods – next to corn. Instant potatoes which are prepared generally with water, milk and butter is very inexpensive. Coupons are often available. Shelf life on the package is usually a little over 1 year.

      Buy a bunch – along with some powdered milk.

      Oatmeal & Grits

      Oatmeal & Grits. If you like this stuff (I don’t) stock up on it. Inexpensive – you can get a lot for your money. Another good candidate for storing what you eat and eating what you store. There is a lot you can do with both of these as far as preparing them in different ways.

      Grab a few…….

      Peanuts

      Peanuts. An all-time favorite snack. As a survival food – peanuts contain a high amount of energy in a small amount of food. After SHTF – calories will be valuable. Peanuts are high in calories. Shelf life is a couple of food.

      Throw a few varieties in your shopping cart……..

      Pancake Mix & Syrup

       Pancake Mix & Syrup.  Obviously these go together. There are several varieties of pancake mix available that need only water to make. This would be the best kind for storage. Easy to prepare and a great morale booster. Shelf life…..like many others – up to 2 years or more.

      These are cheap……go ahead and get a few boxes and a couple bottles.

      Hot Cocoa Mix………cheap “smiles in a cup”

       Cocoa Mix. Got kids? Being able to make hot chocolate….especially in the cold….will be of great comfort when things are not the best. Shelf life is a good couple of years.

        Get at least 3 boxes……get the ones on sale.  

       

      That’s it……that’s the tour.

      Summary: Buy lots of your favorite foods on sale and using coupons when you can. From there……store what you eat and eat what you store.

      Medium – Long Term Food Storage: This food category is often stored in larger quantities in easy to stack pails.  Military MRE’s are generally stored in boxes by the case.

      Here are a few examples of typical bulk-packed food items in this category:

      • Wheat
      • Rice
      • Beans/Legumes
      • Oats
      • Honey
      • Sugar
      • Instant Milk

      Many when considering these types of foods for storage think of wheat, milk, honey and salt (Mormon basics). For variation and to reduce monotony – additional items need to be included.

      What is critical for proper preparation of these bulk foods are additional supplies/equipment such as grain mills, spices/seasoning, and oil. Eating bowls of boiled beans and rice will not be very satisfying day after day.

      Properly stored foods from this category can have a shelf life from 7 to 20 years. Several of my sponsors carry these products so take a look around.

      This is one subject that I must pass the torch to the experts.

      • Wheat
      • Honey
      • Breads and Cereals
      • Beans

      One significant advantage of these foods is the cost. It is possible to establish a years supply of bulk packed food for one person for less than $500. Not bad at all. 

      MRE’s (Meal, Ready to Eat): The MRE was developed for the military for use in a combat environment where full cooking facilities may not be available. These meals come fully cooked and are – as the name suggests – ready to eat right out right out of the package. Each bagged meal contains approx 1200 calories which come from the main entree as well as snacks, a side dish, and a dessert.

      Typical contents of a Meal, Ready to Eat

      MRE’s are a very popular food storage item due to their dense caloric content, ease of preparing, cost, and decent taste. MRE’s made specifically for the military are not easy to find and in my opinion the least desirable type of MRE. I prefer MRE’s made for the civilian market which is often manufactured by the same companies that make them for the military. The advantage of civilian MRE’s is you have better knowledge over how they have been stored. You never know if the case of military MRE’s that you just purchased might have sat in the 120 degree sun in Iraq.

      Shelf-life is reported to be in the neighborhood of 7 years – more if stored in cool conditions.

      Cases of MRE’s are available through several of my sponsors – so check them out

      Long-term food storage – 25+ years
      Freeze Dried Food is known for being lightweight, have a very long shelf life, and are great for activities like backpacking and hunting. Freeze dried foods are easy to prepare – generally needing only water and a heat source to warm. Due to this these foods are often used for survival kits, bug out bags, and of course as an ingredient in long-term survival preps.

      This category is exciting to me due to the incredible shelf life and variety of foods available. Many of my sponsors carry a variety of freeze dried foods in multiple packaging methods. One very important factor with freeze dried foods – is taste. I have tried quite a few varieties and for me – taste is hit or miss. Some are great – some are not. I must admit I am a picky eater so for you this may not be much of an issue. Small foil packs can be purchased for taste tests.

      Bottom line – freeze dried food is an excellent food storage solution for pretty much any disaster situation. They are more expensive than every day grocery store foods – but of course they have several advantages over them to justify the cost.

      There you have it folks. Now – check your inventory and make a plan to add to it. The reality is….your and your family’s life just may depend on it.

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      The Most Important Preps Of Your Life

      most-important-preps

      Many have threads, blogs, magazines and even books on the single most important prep that people have to stockpile. Some of the common phrases you may hear include “you need three of this” and “make sure this is in your bag”. Whether it be weapons, tactical gear, water filters, can openers, or any number of other items, all of these things are nice to have in multiples of each. Like the old saying goes “one is none and two is one”, but there is something that most people forget when it comes to their preps. It’s something that a lot of us have the ability to control and improve, and it can give you and your family a fighting chance in TEOTWAWKI or a SHTF situation. I’m referring to your body, your health, and your mind!

      How Do I Know This?

      First, let me share a little about me with some quick highlights. I am a Marine Corps combat veteran Infantry Sgt., trained in tracking and personal security, and I am a combat lifesaver with three tours under my belt in a PSD (Personal Security Detail). I have been to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once. We were tasked with the security of the Battalion Commander and Battalion Sgt Major as well as other big wigs, like former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and numerous generals as we traveled our battlespace doing large scale operations, training the locals, and doing meetings with local leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan. I left the Marines and did personal security for a former CEO of a major cellular company. I now am an EMT firefighter in a major city in the Midwest. So why does all of this matter? How does it make me knowledgeable enough to speak on the body and mind in SHTF? I have seen what happens when “it” hits the fan. I have seen what happens to people when an IED goes off and then the gunfire starts and the RPGs fly. I have seen the importance of being in the best shape you can be to carry that tactical gear everyone has. I know the importance of training your mind as well. I have trained Marines and security personnel in areas to help them live longer by fighting harder. My hope is to maybe inspire people to prep their body and mind. The following is not for everyone and should be used on a case by case basis, depending on each individual’s ability, health, and fitness levels. Always talk with your doctor before starting any fitness training.

      Your Body

      Your body and the condition it’s in, physically and mentally, is going to determine how long you can make it in a TEOTWAWKI scenario……….period! Your body IS the most important prep, not sweet n hot beef jerky, although that is mighty tasty stuff. If we have a hard time walking to the corner store without being short of breath, how are we going to run, maneuver, or just hike with your plate carrier, chest rig, battle belt, weapon systems, pack, ammo, and other gear? Most of us have this gear. Have you tried walking in it in your house or yard? Have for you walked in this gear for a mile, three miles, et cetera? It is nice to have, but if you can’t move in it what’s the use in having it. Should something large scale, especially a nationwide situation, happen, the supply chain could very well be shut down. There would be no more super markets open or stocked where you could go to get your groceries. You could find yourself going on long expeditions to find food and foraging. So how do we improve our ability to move in all that gear, let alone just our bug out bag?

      You start slowly, especially if you have not been doing much physical activity as of late. Start off with walking your neighborhood or on a treadmill. Then start throwing in some full body weight training. The key again is slowly getting into it to lessen the chance of injury and setting you back further. Once you have been doing the both of them for some time and your body is getting used to it. Move up to walking with your full combat load out, if you have an area that you can do so without drawing too much attention. The next step is to start getting formal training through places like Gunsite Academy, Tactical Response, or onPoint Tactical. As with any skill, seek to improve it. Continue to improve your fitness level at your body’s pace. Even if you just plan on wearing a pack and rifle or just the clothes on your back, increase your body’s cardio ability and strength output regardless. It will make it that much easier when that threat presents itself.

      Food and Drink

      I love the sweets and sodas as much as the next person, but I’m sure we all heard the saying “stockpile what you eat, and eat what you stockpile.” The main purpose behind that is so that during stressful times there is not a shock to your system. You don’t want your body left wondering where the six Dr. Pepper a day habit you had went. I cut out pop a long time ago to increase my overall health from the amount of sugar and of course to curb the habit. I almost always drink just water. We all can stand to improve the quality of food intake. So, should there be TEOTWAWKI, we can all probably agree that we will go through our entire food stores, right? At some point we are going to run out or lose it one way or another, whether that be from using it, damage, spoilage, theft, et cetera. I know I personally do not have a lifetime supply of supplies. So what does that mean? Well, it means that we will have to resort back to eating single ingredient foods– foods that we get from our environment and our surroundings. These include leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, animal protein, and so on. So the closer to that we can be to that today with our diets and our storage, the better off we will be should that time come.

      Something that can also fit into the food and drink category is alcohol, tobacco, or any other bad habits. I know everyone knows the downside of alcohol and tobacco, so I am not going to beat this dead horse too much. However, have you thought about how tough it would be if your supply ran out and you were thrusted into a SHTF situation? We all know how tough it can be to break these habits because of the addiction and the effects on the body. It is not something I would want to go through in a world with limited resources. Another given is the amount of money that can be saved that could, in turn, be used on other critical preps.

      Gear Considerations For a Healthy Body

      • Weight is first among other things to think about when it comes to your bug out gear or tactical gear. Remember when you are packing your bug out bag or loading up your tactical gear “ounces equal pounds, pounds equal pain.” When you are packing, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Remember that a bug out bag is to get you from point A to point B. It’s not to sustain you indefinitely. Also, think about when wondering if for your main battle rifle you should go .223 or .308, part of the reason the 5.56/.223 was adopted was that you could carry more rounds with less weight. With that being said, you can increase your weight-carrying capacity by increasing your physical fitness.
      • Balance is another gear consideration. For example, if you do plan on having a full on tactical load out, why have every mag you own on your chest? Spread it out to a pack on your back and to a battle belt. Why kill your back being forced forward from the ten or twelve full 30’s in your rig? Lower the center of gravity of your setup with a battle belt. Or even if you plan on just having a bug out pack, use the cummerbund, if it has one. It is there to place some of the weight on your hips and make the hike more comfortable. Maybe consider upgrading to a pack that has one, if yours currently does not, especially if you find yourself being a pack rat.
      • Footwear is a BIG one to think about. You have to take care of your feet or you will get nowhere. If you plan on having a set of footwear that is only in case of a bug out situation, break them in. There is nothing worse than major blisters on your feet from shoes that are not broken in or don’t fit properly. For the ladies out there that wear heels to work, be sure you have that back up pair of footwear in your pack. Also when choosing your shoes or boots, choose them based on your environment and time of year. Running shoes may not be the best form of footwear during a Midwest winter, for example.
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      Prepping With Children: Getting Them Interested

      prepping-with-children

      It is a perfectly fine, pleasant Tuesday evening. You are playing with your children in the park. Your son is climbing up to the slide while your daughter is whooshing in the air on the see saw. A perfect day until an Earthquake strikes! One minute, this one minute will be changing your entire world. Your evenings may never be this perfect again.

      When we are in our happy moments we never realize that they may never last forever. It is always good to be prepared for the worst, to be prepared for survival in situations filled with despair. As adults, survival for you may not be this big of a challenge as opposed to your young children in the same situation. As elders, parents and guardians it is our duty to prepare our children- teach them how to survive. The question however is, how to prepare them?

      Stay Calm

      Children can sense the urgency in a parent’s tone. Take survival preparation seriously but let it not scare your children. If they are scared they might not pay attention to your instructions or be involved the way you want them to be.

      Make it Engaging

      To gather the interest of children it is important to keep them involved. Involvement for kids comes in the form of fun. You can make prepping fun for your kids by starting a prepping story. Build a story where they get to be the characters. Put forward survival challenges and show them how to succeed.

      Let them know where to head to in case things go wrong. You can also the kids for a weekend in the woods, a family trip. In this camping trip show them how to connect with their surroundings, look for food, learn to fish and learn to hunt. Kids of today are dependent on technology. On this trip show them what life without technology is. Engage them in maps and compasses!

      Prepare a first aid kit and teach them how to tackle small emergencies such as cuts and falls. Moreover, find survival books for children and discuss stories such as that of Robinson Crusoe. These stories and books will inspire them. Hear them out. Talk to them. Listen to their fears and comfort them. Their opinions may give you some ideas too.

      Let Them do Some Storage and Cooking

      When you head out to the store to shop for your survival food storage, take them along. Let them select the food. Foods such as dried food, vegetable powders, fruit powders are survival essentials, tell them why they are important. One of the best ways to store food is to grow vegetables and fruits in your back yard.

      Involve them in the gardening so that they know why that this is their essential to survive. Moreover, involve the kids in cooking too. Teach them recipes that are easy so that they can survive on their own when need comes. However, do not assign everything to them. Take it slowly. Too many responsibilities may push them away.

      Let Them Master the Art of Hygiene

      Germs and bacteria are harmful species that affect humans. Children are more prone to them due to their weak immune system. In survival situations getting sick can be harmful.

      The best way to prevent falling sick is to take care of hygiene and sanitation.  Talk to children about the importance of hygiene, the importance of washing hands, showers, why towels should not be shared, why using sanitizers is Important, wiping themselves,  teach them about the skills to use a public bathroom and other such skills.

      Healthy children can survive germs. However to be healthy, children must know why hygiene is emphasized on.

      While preparing your children, you have to realize that you job as a parent is not over. While they prepare for survival, you have to make the necessary arrangements for them too.

      Food

      Children have a different dietary requirement. Look at your children and store the food that you think will be the most important for them. For infants stock up formula milk as a mother may not be able to breast feed her child all day. For growing kids stock powder milk, dried fruits and organic food.

      The stock you have may deplete thus you should know how to hunt, fish and gather so that with your assistance the children can survive.

      Water

      Water is essential to survival. Staying dehydrated is very important. While preparing for survival make sure you have stored water enough to sustain you and the kids. Storage bottles are very handy for this job.

      Pack Emergency Kits

      As parents, it is your job to pack their emergency kits that will ensure their survival. Pack their clothes, blankets, one of their favorite toy (so that they feel safe), medicines and other such important tools. Carry cards or board games so that they have something to stay entertained. Also give them communication devices and radios so that they can be aware.

      Having a family is the best feeling in the world, but imagining them in tough times can tear you apart. You cannot stop something wrong from happening but you can equip your loved ones with the power to tackle such situations. This power only comes from preparation. Hence to survive, teach them to how to prepare!

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      27 Uses for a Five-Gallon Bucket

      Texans may have their five-gallon hats, but the rest of us preppers have our five-
      gallon buckets! Grab some of those buckets, because there are dozens of do-it-
      yourself projects you could be starting. Consider this your prepper “bucket list”!

      Dozens of Do-it-yourself Prepper Projects with Buckets
      Here’s our bucket list of dozens of projects you can do yourself if you have a food-
      grade 5-gallon or 6-gallon bucket:

      #1: Assemble and off-grid laundry station.
      Include a Rapidwasher mobile washer agitator, which is much better than a plunger
      because it has slots for the water. Also it uses minimal water and less soap
      (because of the agitation motion). Fill your bucket with your favorite laundry soap,
      borax,  baking soda, and stain remover, along with a clothesline, clothespins, and
      rubber gloves. Right, Prepare My Life has assembled everything for you in a kit with
      a gamma seal lid.

      #2: Fuel up at Costco with Charcoal.
      This is an easy do-it-yourself prepper project: charcoal storage. Preppers must stock
      a variety of fuel and charcoal is ready to go! The problem is that the bags are messy
      and are not moisture proof. At Costco, you’ll find Kingston Charcoal: it’s around $20
      for two huge bags. Grab them, then stash your charcoal treasure into a couple five-
      or six-gallon buckets. Having charcoal in a bucket provides the added security of a
      weather tight capsule.

      • Why hoard charcoal? Charcoal is highly combustible and paired with a lighter
        is an easy source of fuel. Charcoal has an indefinite shelf life when the
        product is stored in a cool, dry place. Use charcoal after you exhaust your
        supplies of propane, kerosene and other liquid fuels.
      • Is commercial charcoal good for composting? No! Kingston Charcoal and
        other briquettes won’t aid in the breakdown of organic matter, because they
        contain other ingredients to make them light faster. You’ll need to dump your
        commercial charcoal in an area separate from your composting.
      • #3: Tackle this one: create a bucket for your fishing gear.

      Go fishing for tackle supplies and make a tackle bucket. Pictured right is a tackle
      organizer. There are organizers for inside and outside of your bucket. Complete
      your tackle bucket with a comfortable seat lid. Makes a great gift.

      • Fishing Bucket Organizer. Right, from Wild River Tackle, is a five-gallon
        bucket organizer that fits most 5 gallon buckets. It’s a single solution soft
        tackle bag with an integrated flexible neck LED light system that allows you to
        see into the bag or the bucket when natural light gets scarce. This is a clip on
        LED light that can be moved to illuminate any area of low light. It also
        features a zippered pocket ready for your aerator to keep your bait lively. The
        rigger has storage areas for two 3500-series trays and extra pocket to hold a
        third reel or fishing line. A fisherman’s dream, this organizer features a
        removable self-retracting steel cable lanyard for clippers or small tools. It has
        clear internal pockets to keep maps and fishing license dry but visible. The
        exterior mesh pockets will allow you to carry popular tools and easily view
        contents.
      • Sit-n-fish. Left, from Frabill is the Sit-N-Fish bucket. It’s the perfect fishing
        bucket for on the ice or during open water season! This bucket is the “real
        McCoy”! Keep your bait inside during both seasons, and sit comfortably on its
        padded seat whenever you’re out. 6-gallon outer plastic pail; Removable 8-
        quart insulated foam bait bucket; Keeps bait alive and frisky without freeze-
        up; Comfortable snap on / off padded seat lid is included.

      #4: Make an emergency toilet.
      Here is a port a potty you can actually port… Take a five-gallon bucket (use a
      colored bucket, so you don’t mix it up with your food grade buckets) and line your
      bucket with appropriate bags, chemicals or Borax to keep down the stench, and of
      course, toilet paper and a plastic toilet seat lid and you have a grid-down
      emergency solution! This portable potty is also an ideal solution for camping,
      hunting, and having an adventure in your RV.

      #5: Use your noodle and stockpile the macaroni!
      Preppers don’t often think of storing macaroni in food grade buckets, but it will keep
      you from eating your emergency stash on an everyday basis. You can fit 25-lbs or
      more of elbow noodles in a six-gallon bucket. Next time it goes on sale, use your
      noodle and stock up on versatile elbow macaroni or your favorite pasta. Remove the
      pasta from the plastic bags and insert them into mylar bags with oxygen absorbers
      to enhance their shelf life. Include the boiling instructions on the inside of lid of the
      bucket. To make retrieval easier, get a gamma seal lid. Be sure to use a food-grade
      bucket or the plastics will leach into your macaroni or other pasta. Be sure also to
      store your macaroni inside your home, and not in a basement or attic, which has
      heat fluctuations. Be sure to store enough water to boil your noodles!

      #6: Sugar up your food storage!
      Sugar lasts indefinitely and is another easy prep for a food grade bucket. Sugar
      doesn’t need. Head to Costco for pure cane sugar, preferably organic, which has a
      hint of brown color. Get a gamma lid for easy retrieval of your food storage. Don’t
      stop your food storage projects with sugar or macaroni. In addition to sugar, buy in
      bulk to save and stockpile:

      #7: Build a better mouse trap!
      Featured on Doomsday Castle, the concept of a five-gallon bucket  rat trap at first
      seemed a little far fetched, but it worked! Here’s a how to build a better mousetrap!

      Posted on Leave a comment

      Why You Need To Garden Now

      why-you-need-your-garden-now

      It’s easy to find excuses not to garden: I’m too busy, I don’t want to ruin the lawn, I don’t have enough space, I’ll start when I move to the country. There might even be a few who bought a container of heirloom seeds, tossed it into the freezer and checked gardening off their to-do list.

      The main fallacy in all these excuses is that you need all the experience you can get in growing your own food now, before your life depends on it. Of course, there are also many benefits to gardening: saving money as food costs continue to increase, learning to preserve your harvests, learning to cook fresh produce in appetizing ways, eating healthier foods, adjusting you (and your family) to a different diet before you have no choice.

      Time: everyone is busy. We also make time for what is important to us. Starting a new garden is labor intensive; if your schedule includes exercise then gardening can replace it at this stage.

      Lawn care: gardens don’t have to be an enormous rectangle in the center of the yard. A large border garden along the fence can be very productive and attractive. Raised beds can be built with stone or pavers. If you absolutely can not dig up any of your lawn because of a militant HOA or an impending sale, container gardening is the answer.

      Space: be inventive. Look into community gardens, allotment space, friends or acquaintances with room to plant. Elderly neighbors who might not be up to the physical exertion of maintaining a large garden could be willing to share their space for a portion of the produce. They will often be an excellent source of information regarding gardening for your climate and soil.

      What if you don’t want to invest the time and energy into a garden where you live now when you will be moving to the country or a bug-out place? The answer is: you had better be putting in the work somewhere! If you own land but can’t live on it now, make time to get out there and begin the process. A long weekend, or even better, a week vacation spent camping on your land can see a lot of clearing work done. If nothing else, a spade, bag of compost, stack of cardboard for mulching and seed potatoes will be the starter garden that sets you up for future efforts.

      Soil quality has to be your number one concern. Many suburbs and housing divisions are begun by grading the land flat and seeding grass onto what is left. When the grass is dug up what the home owner isn’t going to find is topsoil. The first step is going to be amending the growing medium; a.k.a. making really good dirt for healthy plants. There are choices available for this step. If money isn’t an issue landscape companies will truck in topsoil for you or you can make your own with compost.

      Be aware of your gardens needs when placing it. Alan Titchmarsh, prominent British gardening expert, recommends spending a day in a lawn chair observing the space. Watch where the sun hits, what is shaded by trees or fences and where the wind blows unchecked. Know the needs of your chosen crops: is there full sun for corn? Is a place sheltered from the midday and afternoon sun best for the lettuce?

      Did you observe any pests? Rabbits can be a serious problem in town where many won’t kill them because they are considered ‘cute’. Do you have family pets which will dig or trample your tender seedlings? Even a knee-high fence made of chicken wire may be enough to keep these out while still allowing you easy access. Another option is to use a greenhouse, polytunnel or coldframe to both keep pests out and extend your growing season by protecting from frost and wind.

      Remember that other plants can interact with your garden. My yard is filled with black walnut trees which produce a chemical to retard the growth of other plants. I can’t even use the leaves for compost. Two years ago I opened up a second garden area and I’m still struggling to get decent crops to grow there. These also allow for earlier planting by providing protection from frosts. Eventually, it will be as rich and productive as my first garden. The time and work is an investment that will be rewarded.

      Whatever method you choose, start now. This may literally save your life someday.